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Natursac, oxo-biodegradable bags






With what level of certainty can the timing of degradation be controlled?




The speed of degradability can largely be controlled by the additive package used for any particular application. The actual speed of degradation , however is affected by the levels of uncontrollable variables, particularly heat, light and stress, to which the plastic is exposed. Higher than planned levels of these will speed up the process and lower levels will slow it down (but not stop it). Generally the degradation will be approximately 12 to 16 months.





How can microbes consume a plastic material?




Normally the microbes can not access the carbon or hydrogen in a plastic material because the molecular chain is too long. However, it is now widely recognized that when a plastic material descends to below 40,000 molecular weight due to oxidative degradation, the material becomes water wettable and can sustain a bio-film on it’s surface. This bio-film supports numerous micro-organisms that will feed off the carbon and hydrogen elements of the oxidizing plastic.





Does the finished products (bags) need to be stored or handled in any special way?




A degree of care is sensible so as to ensure that the products are not exposed to excessive heat, light or stress. For example, degradable plastics should be stored in a cool/shaded place rather than in the open air or in a hot, sunny place. Beyond this sort “common sense”, no special requirements apply.




Is bio-degradation the end result of degradation?




In the case of the oxo-biodegradable additives used by Natursac, the answer is yes. Oxidative degradation of polyethylene causes a breakdown of the molecular backbone of the plastic. The molecular chain become shorter and watter wettable permitting the formation of a bio-film on the surface of the plastics which allows microbial deterioration to take over.





Will oxo-bidegradable Natursac bags create methane in landfill or compost?




No, methane occurs in a anaerobic conditions when carbon can only combine with hydrogen. The degradation process is an oxidizing system. If no oxygen is present the carbon and hydrogen remains locked in the remnants of the plastic and methane will not be emitted.




Are oxo-biodegradable Natursac bags recyclable?




Yes. The presence of oxo-biodegradable additives does not stop the normal stream of recyclability. The recycler and/or the manufacturer will process the collected bags normally by melting it again and reprocessing in their equipment as usual. The final product made with recycled material will not be oxo-biodegradable


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