Add-X Biotech – Oxo-Biodegradable Additives for Plastics

Posted on May 13, 2013 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News

Add-X Biotech – Oxo-Biodegradable Additives for Plastics – Packaging Gateway.

Letter written to the manager of this company.

Dear Sir, We came across a plastic bag made with Addiflex in it.   The labelling on the bag was completely misleading and contradictory.  We don’t know if it was a bag made by your company or someone else’s using your additive, but it was quite misleading to the consumer.  The bag said to reuse it a bin liner.   This goes against how an oxo product works.  If a consumer is to use it as bin liner then it is going to a landfill where it will not fragment down, (no oxygen or sunlight) so it is going to pollute like any ordinary bag.   This was not mentioned on the bag, when it should be if you want to be honest with consumers.  Yet the bag stated not only would it degrade but it would then biodegrade in a landfill.  There was no reference someone could look up to verify how the biodegradation test was done.   Also there was no reference time indicated as to how long it would be expected to biodegrade and in what environment will it biodegrade.  It is 6 months, 5 years, 200 years?  For an oxo to firstly degrade, it has to be left on the surface as litter somewhere.   People do not want this.    ASTM D5511 is the USA biodegradation test for landfill biodegradation and there is a Euro equivalent of it.  If this bag could not be shown to biodegrade under one of these procedures then it cannot be claimed biodegradable.  We have recently come across a ASTM D5511 test being carried out on an oxo plastic and after 120 days there was 0% biodegradation, as expected.    
The bag also said it could be main stream recycled, but again Oxos cannot be main stream recycled without compromising the new products.   Some renown oxo researchers have said this in their published papers.  Stabiliser or not, the metal ions are there and will cause the bag to fragment in the presence of oxygen and sunlight. 

Also on the bag there was no correct instructions on how to dispose of it, being an oxo bag.  If the intent was to landfill then it, then why go to the bother to put the oxo additive in it in the first place, as it won’t biodegrade.

We would hope the companies would be more honest about their products and not try to green wash them to mislead the consumer who is trying to do the right thing.  Perhaps this was not a bag made by your company and if that is the case, We would hope you would be mandating to other manufacturers who use your product that they do full disclosure of the benefits and limitations of their products with your additive in them.  That way, consumers can then make the right informed choice.