Oxo-Biodegradable Plastics Federation: A new voice in an old debate

Posted on February 11, 2016 by DrRossH in Plastic Waste News

Oxo-Biodegradable Plastics Federation: A new voice in an old debate | PlasticsToday.com.

Oxo-biodegradable plastics, or oxo-degradable plastics, as those who do not support the use of the technology prefer to call them, have come under considerable fire over the past few years. The reason for this is the widespread doubt that has arisen about the actual effectiveness of the technology. Does biodegradation actually occur with the use of this additive technology, or not?

It doesn’t, wrote the SPI (Washington, DC) in its 2013 position paper on the subject. The terms (i.e., “degradable,” “oxo-degradable,” “oxo-biodegradable,” “oxo-green” and “landfill degradable”) suggest that the products can undergo rapid degradation and biodegradation under many different end-of-life conditions. But, said the SPI, the main effect of oxidation is fragmentation, not biodegradation.

“Fragmentation of “degradable additives” for plastics is not the result of a biodegradation process but rather the result of a chemical reaction. The resulting fragments will remain in the environment. Fragmentation is not a solution to the waste problem, but rather the conversion of visible contaminants, such as bags, cutlery and packaging into invisible contaminants.”

This technology should be banned, too many doubts about the actual claim for biodegradation.  The word oxobiodegradation was a recent invention by the oxo-industry to try to give their product more credence after it has come under increasing criticism in recent years as doing more damage than the claims of good the manufactures make.