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Oxo-degradation : A Simmering Debate

Donald Rosato – Aug 31, 2016

oxo-biodegradable plasticFew plastics additives attract as much controversy within the plastics industry as oxo-degradable products. The war of words within the plastics and bioplastics industry regarding the use of Hydro-Biodegradable Plastics (HBP) versus Oxo-Biodegradable Plastics (OBP) continues.

Various trade bodies, organizations, universities, environmentalists and industry experts have weighed-in leveling a series of negative allegations regarding sectors of the bioplastics industry, with suppliers and technology companies on both sides of the issue entering the fray.

Which side are you on?

3 Comments on "Oxo-degradation : A Simmering Debate"
Donald R Mar 30, 2017
In answer to Les C: An Oxo-Biodegradable Plastics (OBP) compound is one containing additives based on salts of various metals. They are made by adding a small portion of fatty acid compounds of specific transition metals (such as iron, manganese or cobalt) to traditional plastics such as polyolefins (PE, PP) and polystyrene. Thus, it would take an extremely long time, hundreds of years or greater for metal salts accumulation. In answer to ISAO T: OBP technology does not claim to meet compostability standards, but this does not mean these materials do not biodegrade. OBP carbon is converted to CO2 over a longer time frame. OBP claims biodegradability according to ASTM D5988, as well as ASTM D6954-04 used to compare plastics that biodegrade in various disposal environments, as conducted by independent laboratories such as Smithers-RAPRA (US/UK), Pyxis (UK), Applus (Spain). The British Standards Institute (BSI) has published BS8472, the first and only European Standard that tests for biodegradation of plastic products that get into the environment.
Les C Sep 22, 2016
Do oxo-biodegradable plastics cause accumulation of metal salts in the environment over time?
ISAO T Sep 2, 2016
I am on Oxo-biodegradable plastcs. As long as finished plastic products with oxo-additive can prove its ultimae biodegradability by independent parties, we can claim that it is authentically biodegradable. In order to do this, it is important to establish a solid certification rule in which all types of plastics with oxo-additive can be applied to. I believe that SPCR141 is at present one of very practical certification rules to evaluate oxo-biodegradable plastic products.

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