THE British Plastics Federation (BPF) has said that ‘the enemy is not plastic, the enemy is plastic waste’ in response to the BBC’s ‘War on Plastic’ programme.
The trade body said the show, which looks into the issue of plastic waste, is rightly encouraging people to think about everyday decisions in regards to plastic. However, the organisation added that the title ‘War on Plastic’ does not suggest a ‘balanced evaluation of a complex situation’ and ‘seems to suggest’ that plastic should be condemned in all applications, despite being ‘vital’ to almost every major industry.
BPF said that the programme failed to explain why plastic was used in the first place within a number of packaging applications. Addressing the show’s criticism of sandwich packaging, the trade body said that the plastic lining on the packs is necessary as a moisture barrier to keep the food hygienic and fresh.
An extract from BPF’s statement on the show read, “Plastic is resource-efficient, meaning packaging designs are able to use a very small amount of material. It also performs well when materials are compared using lifecycle analysis, which compares a range of environmental factors, including energy and water use. One study found that a world without plastic packaging would result in 2.7 times more greenhouse gas emissions.”
BPF also shot down claims that there had been an increase in the use of single-use plastic packaging, saying that in the past two years the tonnage per capita of plastic packaging on the market had fallen by 4%. The trade body added that a forecast by industry, key stakeholders and compliance companies expect per person use for all plastic packaging to fall further in 2020 – possibly as much as 9%.