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The Hidden Mystery Behind Biodegradable Products

In order to claim that a product is fully compostable, the product has to meet all the requirements in the European Norm EN 13432 and/or the US Standard ASTM D6400. However, unlike compostable, the term biodegradable means very little as everything is biodegradable given time. The term biodegradable simply means that an item will break down into smaller parts after disposal. This is why BioBag® Americas only uses the term “Compostable” when describing, marketing, and labeling our products. Both terms are often used when defining environmentally eco friendly medium cup products. If you are considering using a biodegradable plastic resin to create your plastic injection molded part or product, you’ve got a number of options at your disposal. As a note: It is important that this material is thoroughly dried prior to being processed via plastic injection molding. Hemp plastics can be up to five times stiffer and 2.5 times stronger than polypropylene, and it can be used in standard plastic injection molding machines without requiring any machine modifications. PBS (polybutylene succinate) is an aliphatic polyester with properties similar to polypropylene, but which naturally degrades into water and CO2.

Even if you feel unbelievably calm while swimming around the underwater world, your hair can still transform into a birds nest as you exit the water. For all that, there are still countless things we take for granted: what biodegradation actually is, for instance. Probably the most significant are corn-based polymers. The current market situation for PLA and biodegradable polymers is described as well as applications across a range of market sectors, and the mechanical, chemical, thermal, rheology, and degradation properties of PLA. This degradation process causes deterioration in the strength of the plastic, which becomes brittle and easily fragments into small pieces. Again, Oxo-degradable plastics are not compostable, according to established international standards EN13432 and ASTM 6400. Oxo-degradable plastics should not be included in waste going for composting, because the plastic fragments remaining after the composting process might adversely affect the quality and saleability of the compost. A subset of BDPs may also be compostable with specific reference to their biodegradation in a compost system, and these must demonstrate that they are ‘capable of undergoing biological decomposition in a compost site as part of an available program, such that the plastic is not visually distinguishable and breaks down to carbon dioxide, water, inorganic compounds and biomass, at a rate consistent with known compostable materials (e.g. cellulose)’ (ASTM standard D996, also see D6400).

The additives are typically organic compounds of transition metals (such as cobalt, iron, nickel, and manganese). There are many more resources on the internet regarding this topic as well. In a pile of organic waste, there are millions of tiny microbes that consume the waste, transforming the organic materials into compost. Hemp plastic is used extensively in the automotive industry for panels, and in the building industry for a variety of products where fire-retardant properties are desirable. Though the five types of biodegradable plastic resins discussed above have a firm hold on the biodegradable plastics market, there is another emerging source of biodegradable plastic: Hemp. The field of green chemistry revolves around creating products that have minimal environmental impact, which includes creating materials that degrade quickly and safely in the environment. This can lead to premature failure of the field. You can see our certifications here. To learn more about oxo-degradability and plastics, see this Environmental Impacts of Oxo-degradable study here. “Fragment” is the key here. We might be using natural products to create biodegradable plastics, but that doesn’t mean we are eliminating our exposure to chemicals through this manufacturing process. Biodegradable substances include food scraps, cotton, wool, wood, human and animal waste, manufactured products based on natural materials (such as paper, and vegetable-oil based soaps).

20, 21 Photodegradable plastics are a sub-category of oxo-degradable plastics, where the oxidation process is induced by UV light (≈4 % of natural sunlight).22 Hydro-degradable plastics are often a blend of petro-based plastic with a natural polymer, such as starch.23 Polyacrylamide (PA) is also considered as a hydro-degradable plastic given its water-holding capacity and eventual degradation into biomass.24-27 These plastics rely on the hydrophilic nature of the polymer for their decomposition into smaller oligomers. Also, Oxo-degradable plastics are not suitable for recycling with main-stream plastics as they have an adverse effect on the quality and usability of the finished recycled product. Although these are regarded as beneficial by the producers, concerns have been raised that these particles of plastic may be ingested by invertebrates, birds, animals or fish. Hemp plastic water bottles eliminate the concerns associated with BPA plastics and are completely biodegradable. Hemp plastics may be made from 100 percent hemp and infused with hemp fibers for strength and durability, or they may be mixed with other plastics.