Plastic products that are marketed as "biodegradable" or "oxo-degradable" have exploited the wallets of environmentally minded consumers and wreaked havoc on recycling and compost facilities for many years. This is exactly why Californians Against Waste sponsored SB 567 (DeSaulnier) in 2011, which prohibits any use of the term "degradable" when marketing plastic products and requires compostable products to meet specific standards. The producers of these products claim that their "biodegradable" additives for plastics will allow the product to break down completely, within a reasonable amount of time, and without leaving behind any toxic residue. The problem is, no one can prove those statements to be true.
Plastic products labeled as "degradable" are sold as an environmentally friendly alternative, but end up competing with the truly recyclable and compostable alternatives. Often, instead of breaking down completely, "degradable" plastic will fragment into tiny pieces that remain in the environment for decades, contributing to microplastic pollution. Worst of all, these "degradable" plastics can contaminate any recycling facility or compost facility that they infiltrate, causing more material to be sent to landfills.
This is why over 150 organizations around the world, including Californians Against Waste, have signed a collective statement to ban oxo-degradable plastic packaging. Read the full statement here.