What is oxo-biodegradable plastic?
Oxo-biodegradable plastic is made by blending a pro-degradent additive into the plastic during the extrusion process. The additive causes the molecular structure of plastic to break down when exposed to heat or sunlight. The plastic will eventually be in a state where it can be digested by microorganisms. At this point, the plastic will degrade at a faster rate until it has fully degraded into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass. Oxo-biodegradable plastic, is often referred to as “degradable” plastic, since it does not require a biological process to degrade. Microorganisms will speed up the degradation process, but they’re not required. This gives oxo-biodegradation a distinct advantage over prior methods for degrading plastic. The degradation time varies depending on the amount of exposure to degradation promoters (sunlight, heat, and microorganisms). This is an optimal situation for consumers. Oxo-biodegradable plastic degrades quickest in the exact situation we want it to: when it becomes litter. If the plastic is used properly it will last many years, but once it becomes litter it could degrade in under 12 months. In a landfill oxo-biodegradable plastic will degrade quickly if oxygen is available to assist the degradation process. However, unlike other types of degradable plastic, oxo-biodegradable plastic will not release methane as it degrades. This is another advantage over prior forms of biodegradable plastic.
Benefits of oxo-biodegradable plastic
* There is no difference in print quality, texture, or strength between regular and oxo-biodegradable plastic.
* Oxo-biodegradable plastic has a long shelf-life. It will last for many years is stored indoors.
* Oxo-biodegradable plastic is recyclable. Other forms of degradable plastic are not.
* Oxo-biodegradable plastic will degrade in a landfill and the degradation process does not release methane.
* Degradable plastic is an insurance policy against litter.