We test our oxo-biodegradable products according to the testing requirements of ASTM 6954-04 and all of our claims on our website and our packaging conform to ISO 14021 environmental labels and declarations to the best of our knowledge. Our oxo-biodegradable additive contains no proscribed heavy metals. The by products are water, biomass, and carbon dioxide. This product does not create or release methane gas.
Our bags undergo a two step process during oxo-biodegradation. Step one is to oxidize and fragment. This process typically takes 30-90 days if exposed to oxygen and is accelerated by exposure to sunlight, heat, or mechanical stress. The second step is bio-degradation. This will occur, even in a landfill, if oxygen is present. This takes approximately 2 years under ideal conditions which is why we state 5 years on our box, however, in the absence of oxygen the process will completely stop.
There are several differing views on how governments want products to act/react in their landfills. Some prefer that the products degrade in order to reduce the amount of trash in the landfill thereby increasing the life expectancy of the landfill. Some prefer that everything in the landfill become “entombed” and not breakdown at all to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases from bio-degradation. Other municipalities send all of their waste to an incinerator. Some are better at recycling and offer a wider range of products in their “blue bin” programs for pick up. Oxo-biodegradable products are a good fit for all of these options.
The fact that when our products are biodegraded they are reduced in mass by approximately 90% is important on two fronts. It helps to reduce the amount of space being used in a landfill plus it allows oxygen and moisture to reach the products in the bag to also give them a chance to degrade, thereby further reducing the amount of waste in the landfill. One by-product of bio-degradation is normally carbon dioxide or methane. Our bags do not emit methane gas during break down. Methane is up to 23 times more harmful to the ozone layer than.
Claims that making a degradable product will promote littering are absolutely false. There are thousands of items on this planet which are degradable. People who litter are the problem. Not the products. People who don’t currently litter won’t start to litter just because a product is now degradable. This has been proven where oxo-biodegradable products are used. There has been no significant increase in litter in any of these locations. The linear low density polyethylene raw material we use is still 100% recyclable after the additive is used. We have recycled this material with no problems in our manufacturing process at all and we will continue to recycle all of our own scrap products.
We believe that garbage bags and shopping bags should be made from 100% recycled plastic. Those products in turn should be recycled whenever possible but since only approximately 3% of all plastics are recycled these products should also be made to degrade. We still promote recycling, but if those products end up in a landfill or discarded as litter they will have a chance to breakdown. If they are discarded as litter they will normally break down at a much faster rate. We do not claim that we are selling a “magic” product. Degradable products will always act differently under different conditions. We are simply taking a product that was previously indestructible and making it degradable at the end of its
useful life in a reasonable amount of time under normal conditions.
Oxo-biodegradable plastic products are a viable option for all means of plastic waste disposal.