What is oxo biodegradable plastic bags?
Oxo biodegradable plastic bags are an environmentally friendly way to carry your groceries. These bags are made with an oxo-biodegradable plastic which is designed to break down in the soil and recycle with other waste. There are many benefits to using these bags and they are perfect for the eco-friendly consumer.
Compostable vs. biodegradable
Compostable plastics are a type of plastic that can biodegrade in composting environments. In this type of environment, microorganisms break down the plastic and release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The result is nutrient-rich, natural compost.
Unlike biodegradable plastics, oxo-biodegradable plastics do not require a biological process to degrade. They can be degraded by oxidation. Oxo-biodegradable products also contain additives that accelerate the process. This process accelerates the breakdown of the polymer and produces oxygenated low-molecular-weight chains.
Some companies claim to have a biodegradable additive that can break down the plastic into microplastic pieces. These claims have been challenged in court.
Many supermarkets offer plastic biodegradable bags as an alternative to regular plastic bags. However, these bags will not break down in a landfill.
Compostable plastics are certified by a third-party organization. A certification is necessary to market them as “environmentally friendly”. It is not always clear whether the product is compostable or not.
Often, companies make unproven biodegradability claims. Regulatory bodies are beginning to impose limits on the use of the term “biodegradable” in labeling.
Biodegradable plastics degrade faster than conventional plastics. It usually takes between three and six months to decompose, but it can take hundreds of years to completely break down. Using a biodegradable material for packaging helps reduce the amount of trash we produce.
Environmental impact of oxo-biodegradable plastics
Oxo-biodegradable plastic bags can be recycled like other polyethylene bags. They can take up to a year and a half to decompose. This means that they won’t end up in landfills. But there’s a risk of fragments of the material ending up in soil, water, and oceans. Some environmental groups have called for a ban on these types of bags.
Oxo-biodegradable plastics are made with petroleum-based raw materials. A small amount of additives speed up the degradation process. These include metal salts that allow the molecular structure of the plastic to break down when exposed to oxygen.
The environmental impact of oxo-biodegradable plastics is much faster than that of normal plastics. They can be used for a variety of applications, including strong pla shopping bags. However, the chemicals in the plastic disrupt natural degrading processes, which may make them incompatible with conventional recycling procedures.
In order to avoid these issues, the oxo-biodegradable industry can create products with minimal toxic impact. For example, they can use a combination of high-density polyethylene–HDPE with a prooxidative additive to speed up the breakdown of the plastic.
Although this is a more sustainable solution to the problem of plastic waste, it does require a new type of packaging. It’s important that the packaging be upgraded to biodegradable materials.
Common additives in oxo-biodegradable plastics
Oxo-biodegradable plastic bags are an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional plastic packaging. They are derived from common, synthetic polymers and are mixed with additives that accelerate the breakdown of the polymer.
Oxo-biodegradable technology is compatible with composting. It does not emit methane and requires minimal exposure to microorganisms. The chemical process that drives the degradation of oxo-biodegradable plastics is called autoxidation.
Oxo-biodegradable plastics have a two-step decomposition process. First, the plastic biodegradable disposable bags is fragmented into tiny pieces. In the second stage, the plastic is consumed by microorganisms. This decomposition process is highly accelerated by the use of metal-catalysts.
There are several different additives that are used to make oxo-biodegradables. These additives accelerate the rate of fragmentation, enabling the polymer to break down more quickly in an open environment.
While the most common biodegradable additive is TDPA(r), a product that is sold by EPI, many other additives are available. Pro-oxidant additives, for example, increase the thermo-oxidation rate of the plastic.
There are also additives that help to attract microorganisms to the plastic. Through quorum sensing, these additives can increase the attractiveness of the polymer chain to microorganisms.
Other additives claim to increase the speed of biodegradation through other mechanisms. Generally, they are added to the carrier resins of the plastic.