Oxo-degradable plastic additives have been around for decades with the original source of technology created for the 6 pack ring holders. These technologies are photodegradable or UV degradable technologies that break the polymer bonds based on UV reactions. The Photodegradable or Oxo-degradable technologies work only when placed into environments with enough UV and heat to interact with the polymer.
Oxo-degradable Technology Problems
The problems with oxo-degradable technology is the ability to break down the product when placed into a customary disposal method such as a landfill. When the useful life of a carrier bag with oxo-degradable technology is completed consumers place these bags into garbage cans. The garbage cans do not have light which inhibits the ability for oxo-degradable products to break down. The oxo-degradable technology which is used to reduce the molecular weight of the polymer by a chemical reaction that is induced by UV rays is severally inhibited when placed into normal customary disposal methods. This reduces the effectiveness of oxo-degradable products as a solution for normal disposal methods.
Oxo-degradable companies have developed life spans for their products so they maintain a longer shelf life such as 1 year without the ability to be broken down before use. UV rays can break the oxo-degradable plastic products down to unusable products due to their exposure to UV light. The oxo-degradable companies place UV inhibitor’s into the plastic additives to reduce the risk of early decomposition by UV light, this reduces the effectiveness of the oxo-degradable plastic as the products do not break down at all before normal disposal methods. This greatly inhibits the technology from having a useful purpose in the environment even if not properly disposed of.
Oxo-degradable technologies when placed into the landfill are no different than regular plastic bags, they do not break into smaller pieces, the molecular weight is not reduced to induce microbial action. Oxo-degradable technologies break down from UV light, this is the beginning stages of reducing the molecular weight of the oxo-degradable product which in turn has a better chance of being consumed by microbes in less than 30 years.
BioShere biodegradable plastic additive works differently than oxo-degradable plastic technologies. BioSphere is specifically formulated to work as a catalyst with the enzymatic action of microbes to allow universal degradation to the polymer chain at a much easier rate. Microbial enzymes that are produced by attracting a large number of hydrocarbon eating microbes to the plastic product allow for hydrolysis to occur from the BioSphere biodegradable plastic additive once mixed into the plastic product. Hydrolysis allows for a reduction of molecular weight of the plastic product, which in turn allows for faster biodegradability of your final product. The benefits of using BioSphere plastic additive over competitive products such as oxo-degradable is that the plastic product when mixed with BioSphere maintains the original shelf life of the product and has increased biodegradability in all environments, without the need of UV light.