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Oxo-biodegradable plastics under fire

According to this blog on biodegradable plastics, oxo-biodegradable plastics used locally by South African companies such as Albany Bakery, have come under fire. “Claims of compostability for such products are therefore wrong and untrustworthy. In Italy and Australia lawsuits resulted in fines for using misleading claims in the marketing of such products”. Read more here….

2 thoughts on “Oxo-biodegradable plastics under fire

  1. Oxo-biodegradable and biodegradable conventional (petroleum or natural gas based plastics) are not marketed as ‘compostable’ by any company I am aware of. They biodegrade over a longer time frame than that used for standards for the term compostable. Even PLA is not compostable in home composting facilities, however, and commercial facilities limit the amount of PLA they will accept because it is acidic, and too much of it hurts the process. Our biodegradable conventional plastics take 9 months to 5 years to biodegrade, but will biodegrade in the soil in both oxygenated and anaerobic conditions. Our products also do not require a phase one with UV/Heat/Stress plus oxygen, which makes them different than oxo-biodegradable products. See for more information. -Tim Dunn

  2. As well stated by Mr Dunn, oxo-biodegradable plastics are not to be marketed as compostable. Any claims to the contrary would be inaccurate. In fact, the process surrounding oxo-biodegradable bags is much understood as many claim the material just “breaks into small pieces”. When oxo biodegradable bags are exposed to oxidation, they go through embrittlement as the polymer chains are broken and new carbonyl groups are formed. This process leads to reduction in the molecular weight which continues until the weight is low enough to make the material available for bio-digestion.

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