Biodegradable Plastics & Marine Litter

Misconceptions, Concerns and Impacts on Marine Environments

This report concludes that "the adoption of plastic products labelled as ‘biodegradable’ will not bring about a significant decrease either in the quantity of plastic entering the ocean or the risk of physical and chemical impacts on the marine environment". Indeed, biodegradable polymers degrade significantly slower in the marine environment than on land. Therefore, a widespread use is said to lead to continuing littering problems and its negative impacts. Furthermore, oxo-degradable polymers would only increase the quantity of microplastics in the environment and claims stating otherwise are likely motivated by commercial interests rather than scientific evidence.