The UAE bans the use of all non-biodegradable bags. Currently the country has placed high focus on technology which uses Oxo-degradable plastic which does not break down in landfill environments. The technology which is supplied by many countries worldwide contains metals that help promote degradation of the polymer when placed around UV light exposure. Many corporations used this technology in the late ’80’s and called the technology photodegradable. The UAE has been concerned with the deaths of camels and other livestock which swallow the plastic bags and suffocate from the plastic that has been ingested. Many corporations are confused as to why the use of these oxo-degradable technologies as the technologies consist of UV inhibitors which do not allow the bags to break down by UV light for a long period of time. The testing which is being conducted is not tested with the final bags that are sold which have the UV inhibitors placed into the bags. If the bags do not contain the UV inhibitors the lifespan of the bags are drastically shortened and become useless to consumers. The tensile strength of oxo-degradable plastic bags are drastically reduced when exposed to normal ambient environments which ultimately end up as useless for the consumers.
The technology behind oxo-degradables is to reduce the polymer chains to give the microbes a better ability for them to consume the carbon within the polymer. Oxo-degradable technologies do not cause biodegradation of the plastic, this is a chemical reaction caused UV and not by microorganisms.
Biodegradable plastic made by BioSphere plastic additives are caused by hydrolysis by microorganisms. The microorganisms consume the polymer which allows off-gassing of Co2, Ch4 and leaving behind biomass(Rich carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen dirt) and small amounts of water. This allows for an organic breakdown of plastic articles without the need of UV light.