Evaluation of Biodegradation-Promoting Additives for Plastics – Environmental Science & TechnologyPosted on June 2, 2015 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News
Biodegradation-promoting additives for polymers are increasingly being used around the world with the claim that they effectively render commercial polymers biodegradable. However, there is a lot of uncertainty about their effectiveness in degrading polymers in different environments. In this study, we evaluated the effect of biodegradation-promoting additives on the biodegradation of polyethylene (PE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Biodegradation was evaluated in compost, anaerobic digestion, and soil burial environments. None of the five different additives tested significantly increased biodegradation in any of these environments. Thus, no evidence was found that these additives promote and/or enhance biodegradation of PE or PET polymers. So, anaerobic and aerobic biodegradation are not recommended as feasible disposal routes for nonbiodegradable plastics containing any of the five tested biodegradation-promoting additives.
Additives for PE films were obtained from 3 different companies: Wells Plastics Ltd. (Reverte for PE) (Staffordshire, U.K.), Ecologic (Eco-one EL 10) (Oshkosh, WI), and Symphony (d2w) (Shropshire, U.K.).