Whether you hate or love it, plastics are certainly here to stay well into the future, since they offer a cheaper, lighter alternative with greater flexibility than most other materials out there for a number of needs. It happens to be waterproof, capable of protecting food and a variety of goods from the elements and contamination. Although we still haven’t found a perfect alternative to it, we still have technologies which at least allow us to negate its environmental impact up to a point. One such solution is oxo-biodegradable technology will allow us to have a safer type of plastics on the market, which will cheaper and safer for the environment, keeping most plastic waste escaping into it up to a less dangerous amount.
The manufacturing process includes an extra ingredient introduced into the basic polymer resin involved, which uses the already present machinery at no extra costs. Plastic products containing the degrading additive, which are most often used in lightweight packaging and plastic bags, will in turn work the same way as any other conventional plastic. They may look like one and they may not lose their original strength and properties during their life, however there is one crucial difference between them. If a bag or any object made of oxo-biodegradable plastics finds its way out there and in the environment, it will not stay there for decades, but it will fall apart much faster than its obsolete cousin.
British pro-degradant manufacturing has been on the rise with an increase of sales over the last few years, with predictions of the global plastics market to increase its revenue even more due to raising demands. This growth is happening due to a number of reasons, one among which the fact that these innovative products are necessary and sought after by a number of governments and companies which want to find a balance between environmental issues and the needs of a growing industry and its consumer base.
All plastics will eventually degrade, but oxo-biodegradables can have a controlled degradation period set due to the specifics of the materials used in their creation. The length of their life can be decided by the commercial end user. The combined life of storage and service for a carrier bag for supermarkets is usually somewhere around 18 months or so, because they want to have stocks and they’re allowing the consumer base to reuse the product up to a point. Bread wrappers and similar packaging may only last as much as six months at a time.
Oxo-biodegradable plastics are also used for a number of other purposes, such as lighter carrier bags, packaging film, disposable bags for waste removal and more. There are also applications for them in horticulture and agriculture among other things. For many years plastic sheeting has been used to inhibit weeds and to keep moisture inside, but the harvesting of crops usually meant being left with a huge amount of plastics that simply have to be removed and disposed of safely. When such materials are contaminated they are literally impossible to salvage and recycle safely, so their only option is the landfill, which will soon be impossible in Europe if the EU’s plan to ban plastics on landfills works by 2020.