European Bioplastics Addresses Misinformation in Press Release from the University of Gothenburg

The said press release from the University of Gothenburg titled “Paper cups are just as toxic as plastic cups” came under the scrutiny of EUBP due to perceived discrepancies.

The association expressed appreciation for the strides taken in developing robust methodologies that determine environmental hazards associated with littered materials. This progress is deemed essential as it lays the foundation for informed policy-making, aiming to mitigate environmental degradation.

However, EUBP found discrepancies between the referenced research article and the University's press release, especially concerning the biodegradability of biodegradable plastics. The study, primarily focusing on the toxicity of single-use cups, ventured into an interview format which, according to EUBP, presented personal opinions that could be misconstrued as scientific conclusions.

One glaring point of contention is the inference drawn about the potential toxicity of Polylactic Acid (PLA). The original study discussed the toxicity of single-use cups made from various materials, including PLA. But it did not categorically attribute toxicity to PLA itself. EUBP asserts that the University's press release has potentially muddled the understanding of the relationship between biodegradability and toxicity.

Given the seriousness of the implications, EUBP reached out to the University of Gothenburg, seeking a supplementary press release that clarifies the scope of the original research. However, despite presenting their concerns in writing to both Olaf Lönnehed, the Press Officer of the University, and Bethanie Carney Almroth, the lead researcher of the study, the University has decided against issuing a clarifying statement.