Plastic is not 100 pc biodegradable: BIS

New Delhi: Plastic is not a 100 per cent biodegradable product and if any manufacturers claim otherwise it will tantamount to misleading advertisement, a top BIS official said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has suggested the Environment Ministry not to certify biodegradability of plastics as it has not been established and research are still going on in India and other countries.

It would be a fit case of “misleading advertisement” if any manufacturers claims that its plastic products are 100 per cent biodegradable, he added.

“It has not been established whether the plastic is actually 100 per cent biodegradable. Research is still going on on this subject in India and across the world,” BIS Director General Pramod Kumar Tiwari told reporters.

Although, there are a few test methods and standards but none of them confirm that plastic is biodegradable, he said.

Further, Tiwari said the same was conveyed to the officials of the Environment Ministry in a recent meeting.

“Some of the manufacturers are claiming that their plastic products are biodegradable. We told the ministry not to certify because the research is in progress,” he said, adding that the ministry has agreed to the BIS suggestion on the same, Tiwari added.

In India, Central Institute of Petrochemicals Engineering and Technology (CIPET) — under the aegis of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers — has undertaken the research.

“Unless we have findings of the research, we cannot conclusively say that the plastic is biodegradable,” Tiwari asserted.

On greenwashing of the plastic, Tiwari said, “If somebody is claiming, it is a fit case of misleading advertisement.” Greenwashing entails making an unsubstantiated claim to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly or have a greater positive environmental impact than they actually do.

Sharing about green standards, Tiwari said that these are environment-friendly and helps in reducing carbon footprint.

Some of the standards framed by the BIS include, raw materials for constructions (like fly ash, construction and demotion waste, cement, fly ash bricks), waste disposal (like recycling of plastics waste), electronic vehicles (EV charging infrastructure and battery swapping system), agriculture (organic farming process); renewable energy (wind turbines, energy efficient motors and solar PV modules).

Tiwari said the BIS is also in process of framing standards for carbon trading.

BIS has come out with around 22,000 standards so far, out of which 50 per cent are related to products.