ECM Biofilms’ biodegradability claims based on “competent and reliable evidence,” says judge -USAPosted on February 17, 2015 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News
In his initial decision in the case of the FTC versus ECM BioFilms, the Federal Trade Commission’s Chief Administrative Law Judge D. Michael Chappell ruled that plastics additive manufacturer ECM Biofilms Inc. violated the FTC Act by deceptively claiming, and providing others with the means to claim, that plastics treated with ECM additives would completely biodegrade in a landfill within nine months to five years, and that tests proved this claim.
However, he also found that the FTC had failed to prove that ECM’s biodegradability claims implied that ECM Plastics will “completely biodegrade into elements found in nature, in a landfill, within one year.”
“The tests upon which ECM relies constitute competent and reliable evidence demonstrating that ECM Plastics are biodegradable, including in a landfill, and Complaint Counsel have not met their burden of proving that these claims are false or unsubstantiated,” he wrote.
These additives need to be thoroughly researched as they appear to work and allow plastics to biodegrade in a landfill over a time period of month to years depending on plastic thickness and environment conditions in the landfill. What is needed is an ASTM type standard for them to pass and then the consumers can be assured the label is factual and not greenwashing.