ALLOWING starch bags to be used in food waste caddies in Gloucester is a bad idea – according to a producer of paper liners.
Darryl Weaver, owner of Glevum Paper Liners, has hit out at plans to allow starch liners in food caddies as part of changes to Gloucester’s waste collection service.
He says some varieties of starch liners have to be removed from the waste stream as they cannot be composted, warning that 7.8million bags could end up in landfill.
Mr Weaver, whose firm is based in Quedgeley, said: “I have been supplying food waste liners across the UK for a number of years and I would like to argue against the use of bio plastic starch liners for food waste and suggest that the council must think again.
“We know the reason food waste is collected is so that it can be used to reduce landfill and benefit the environment.
“The council originally recommended that the bins can be lined using paper liners or newspaper. Now they have introduced starch liners this is a huge backward step which will add to the amount of waste going to landfill.
“Starch liners cannot be processed in the digestion facility so they have to be removed from the composting process, they provide no benefit to the environment and are sent to landfill.”
Mr Weaver argues that if 50,000 households use three liners a week they will require 7.8 million liners a year. Each liner weighs around 6g, equating to around 44 tonnes of waste each year.
He added: “Less than a third of the liner is actually biodegradable. The typical starch liner is made up of just 26 per cent starch.
“The question today is why do councils continue to recommend bio plastics? Paper liners benefit the environment as they do not have to be separated from food waste.”
Householders will be able to use starch liners in the hope that more people will take to recycling food waste.
Councillor Sajid Patel, cabinet member for the environment, commented: “The use of cornstarch bags is approved by the county council and they provide the facility where food waste is recycled.
“We will be monitoring the use of bags and seeing how this impacts on our recycling and landfills figures. Starch bags have been used countywide by all the neighbouring districts for some time now.”