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Environmental Benefits

Environmental Benefits
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Oxo-biodegradable plastics will turn to biomass and minor amounts of CO2 and water, therefore significantly reducing the use of landfill space. In the US plastics constitute 11.8% of municipal solid waste in landfills; in the UK, it is 7%, according to the respective Environmental Agencies (US EPA and UK DEFRA).

Oxo-biodegradable plastic bags left on the ground (littering) or floating at sea will promptly degrade, accelerated by the suns UV rays. Conventional plastics will remain in the environment posing risks to wildlife and marine life in most cases for hundreds of years.

Organic waste dumped in landfills in non-degradable plastics bags take much longer to degrade and create more harmful gases. Organic waste in oxo-biodegradable bags is rapidly exposed to air helping anaerobic biodegradation, which releases CO2 instead of methane (21 times more powerful as a Green House Gas than CO2). Non-degradable bags foster anaerobic conditions which generate methane and hydrogen sulphide, both highly toxic gases.

Oxo-biodegradable polymers can be recycled without affecting the quality of the end product. The recycling process deactivates the additive. Recycling plastics means - reducing energy consumption by two-thirds
- generating only one third of SO2 and half of the nitrous oxide
- reducing water consumption by 90%
- reducing CO2 generation by two-and-a-half times

A study done in the UK concluded that 1.8 tonnes of oil are saved for every tonne of recycled polythene produced.

Compared to starch-based biodegradable polymers, oxo-biodegradable are less expensive, thinner, lighter and water-resistant until the additive activates terminating the life of the Oxo-polymer. In order to achieve the same specifications of strength, elasticity, resistance, etc, starch-based polymers need to be thicker and thus are heavier. Oxo-biodegradable polymers require less material and energy to produce and transport.

Oxo-biodegradable polymers do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Since no starch, corn, potatoes or soybean derived materials are used in manufacturing Oxo polymers, there is no likelihood of having GMOs ending up in composting.

By not using starch or soybean derived materials in their composition, Oxo polymers do not compete with foodstuffs. Foodstuff should be foodstuff and not be used as convenience materials until hunger has been eradicated and natural resources are abundant again and in balance. Additionally, demand for more starch, corn or soybeans for non-food purposes can cause the growth of large monocultures, affecting biodiversity.


More Environmental Benefits

Oxo-biodegradable polymers come in more forms than you would imagine. Now available, aside from the classic bags and sacks, are cutlery, and cups, and packaging such as bubble wrap and stretch-wrap and polystyrene foam as containers for eggs and food take out trays.

Potting plants has never been easier as with oxo-biodegradable plastic pots. They will degrade and become biomass.

Once an oxo-biodegradable polymer becomes biomass and is consumed by plants, carbon is fixed, preventing its release to the atmosphere.

Uses of oxo-biodegradable polymers are limited by imagination. Just think of any plastic in use today that needs not last more than after first use, or needs not last longer than a year or two.

Agricultural uses of degradable plastics are enormous. For example opportunities exist where banana producing markets can gain an advantage in banana pricing and export volumes to Europe by the incorporation of degradable plastics in the farming process. That means reduction of pesticides and reduction of waste. Other examples include plastic mulching turning to biomass; eliminating the removal of worn out plastics by just letting them disintegrate and become biomass.

How can I find out more? Some sites to check:

- Bans up to date: http://www.plasticshoppingbagfree.org.nz/index.php?PageID=67

- Community Recycling: www.wasteonline.org.uk/resources/WasteWatch/CommunityRecycling.htm

- Degradable car: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,,2086194,00.html


Costs Associated With Paper and Plastic Bags. Read Article>>


Recommendations for the Adoption of B2N Back to Nature 100% Degradable Plastic and Removal of Duties. Read Article>>

Environmental Groups and affiliates

Numerous institutions, government, private, and NGOs endorse and encourage the use of degradable/biodegradable plastics. To mention a few:

- All the countries, states, cities and villages in the US and worldwide that have instituted a ban on non-degradable plastics. See

- US Government
From the library of Congress: H.R.1318: To facilitate use of degradable plastics, without adversely affecting recycling of non-degradable plastic products, by requiring coding of plastic containers to facilitate separation of degradable plastic containers from non-degradable plastic containers and sorting of non-degradable plastic containers by resin type to promote recycling of such containers.
Sponsor: Rep Bruce, Terry L. [IL-19] (introduced 3/7/1991). Cosponsors (38)
Committees: House Energy and Commerce
Latest Major Action: 3/18/1991 Referred to House subcommittee. Status: Referred to the Subcommittee on Transportation and Hazardous Materials.

- US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)

- Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK (DEFRA)

- Marine Biology Research Institutions: http://marinebio.org/MarineBio/Careers/researchLabs.asp

- Cornell University: http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/sep2002/2002-09-10-09.asp#anchor5

- The Arcos Cielo Research Center: http://www.arcoscielos.com/bookttgb

- In Business Magazine: http://www.jgpress.com/inbusiness/archives/_free/001097.html


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Test yourself Environmental Quiz for age groups 7 13, 14 21, 22 and above.