Contents 1.What are the Options when it comes to Plastic Bags? 2.What is Oxo Biodegradable Plastic? 3.What does Oxo Biodegradable Plastic do in the Environment? 4.How does Oxo Biodegradable Plastic work? 5.What are the Common Misconceptions? 6.Contacts
Oxo-Biodegradable Plastic What are the Options when it comes to Plastic Bags? Standard Plastic Bag - Durable, cheap, recyclable (only 5% gets recycled though), lasts 100 years in the environment PLA Starch (Food Based) Bag – Not as durable as plastic, costs 3X as much as plastic bag, pollutes recycle stream, and “takes food off the plates of those who hunger” Paper Bag - Uses trees, not as durable Oxo Biodegradable Plastic Bag – Made from 100% recycled plastic, as durable as plastic bag, no cost increase, recyclable (prior to start of degradation), biodegrades 100% in the environment
What is Oxo Biodegradable Plastic? Oxo-biodegradable plastic is your basic, durable plastic with an additive causing it to biodegrade in the environment Select plastic pags (depends on the manufacturer) with the oxo-biodegradable additive, cost the same as your standard plastic bags Oxo-biodegradable plastic will continue to fragment until it is small enough for microbials to ingest it as a food source
What does Oxo Biodegradable Plastic do in the Environment? The oxo-biodegradable plastic is your standard, durable plastic up until it hits a time trigger. The manufacturer sets the time trigger at 6 months, 1 year, 5 years, or longer. When the time trigger is hit and the oxo-biodegradable plastic is exposed to oxygen and UV light, the plastic will begin to degrade. The plastic will continue to degrade and fragment until it becomes small enough for microbials to eat it as a food source.
How does Oxo Biodegradable Plastic Work? Polyolefines, such as polyethylene and polypropylene will oxidize during processing and slowly degrade during their lifetime. The chemical processes are accelerated by heat – thermal oxidation – and by UV light – photodegradation. For this reason anti-oxidant stabilizers are added to polyolefine materials to prevent, or at least slow down, this breakdown. With Oxo-biodegradable additives, chemicals are added to accelerate the polymer breakdown, but, in order to achieve stability during use, the polymers selected often need to contain some anti-oxidant. These additives, particularly at the low levels used are totally safe for the environment and are FDA approved for products in contact with food. The free radical oxidation mechanisms for the breakdown of polyolefines are well understood. The results of these oxidation reactions can be studied at the molecular level and the changes in physical properties measured with standard testing equipment.
Plastic Work? (Cont.) One of the effects of the oxidation is breaking of the polymer chain and therefore reduction in molecular weight. There have been numerous studies measuring the molecular weight change during the catalysed oxidation of polyolefines. How does Oxo Biodegradable Work? Oxo-biodegradable plastics require the first oxidation step before the polymer or polymer fragments can be metabolized by micro-organisms, by selecting a suitable commodity polymer and designing an appropriate additive the necessary stability in use and degradation in the designated environment can be tailor made. Therefore one achieves a “programmable life”. The physical effect on the plastic product as a result of the oxidative breakdown and reduction in molecular weight of the polyolefine is to reduce the strength of the material so that it becomes brittle and disintegrates.
Common Misconceptions “Does Oxo Biodegradable Plastic Degrade on the shelf?” Answer: Early generations of Oxo were of poor quality but a step in the right direction. Some would degrade on the shelf or fragment into only smaller pieces. Today's generation will not degrade until it hits the time trigger and is exposed to oxygen and UV light. Then it will biodegrade. "Does Oxo contain dangerous heavy metals and minerals like lead, zinc and cobalt?" Answer: Today's Oxo does not have heavy metals. Some Oxo additives from the last generation did have some lead due to inferior ingredients being used. Today's Oxo has zinc, cobalt and other minerals which are also found in your daily vitamins. In the end, Oxo will leave the same minerals as what is commonly found in your standard yard dirt.
Common Misconceptions "Oxo products biodegrade, but do they in the landfill?" Answer: Are we talking about a dry or wet landfill? Regularly turned landfill? Hot or Cold? Deep inside a landfill is like a tomb. No air and UV light. Nothing biodegrades. A T-Bone steak wouldn't biodegrade. The goal of Oxo is for the biodegradation to take place out in the environment where we find unsightly trash, and on the top levels of landfills. "Does Oxo create methane gas which is more harmful to the environment" Answer: Oxo does not create methane gas in the landfill. It is oxygen based and in a landfill where we find no oxygen, then it will not emit methene. In the open environment, Oxo creates less methane gas than paper and less than the food based starch (PLA) bags.
Common Misconceptions "Do Oxo products cause havoc to the plastic recyclers?" Answer: This depends on the additive. Some Oxo products start to biodegrade as soon as the manufacturing process has concluded. Newer generation Oxo products will not start to degrade until a time trigger is achieved. This trigger could be 6 months, 1 year or 5 years, or any timetable. Plastic, with the new generation additive can be recycled up until the time trigger starts the degradation process. If Oxo products are recycled prior to the initiation of the plastic degrading, the intense heat required to recyle plastic arrests the degradation process.
What are the Common Misconceptions? "Since there is no ASTM standard for biodegradation of plastic then why not have Oxo follow the ASTM D guidelines which are for plastic biodegradation." Answer: Many people try to test Oxo biodegradation of plastic by using ASTM D- 6400, which is a standard for compostability only. ASTM D is a guideline and test method used by the Federal Trade Commission and in U.S. Code of Federal Regulations to test the oxidative and thermal biodegradation of plastic. Many try to include degradation, biodegradation, and compostability in one framework under D They are very different in their life cycles and require different mechanisms to reach their desired ends. Trying to make biodegradation of plastic adhere to a standard which was created for compostability, is like making airplanes adhere to a standard created to test toaster ovens.
Why is it Beneficial for us? Protects the Environment Takes 100% Recycled Plastic and turns it into 100% Biodegradable Plastic Maintains the Same Durability as Plastic Bags, but will also Biodegrade Safely into the Environment No Cost Increase
Contact Daniel Jovkovic Bio90 Manufacturing Canada Inc Heart Lake Road Caledon ONL7C 2J