Polybags Ltd. now manufacture and stock a wide range of eco-friendly green packaging and biodegradable products to suit your needs and help towards a better environment (both PolyBio and Biodegradable). These include kitchen waste and refuse bags, bin liners, carrier bags and standard bags developed in Polybags laboratories in conjunction with the Polymer Research Department at the London Metropolitan University.
Bioplastics can take different length of times to totally compost, based on the material and are meant to be composted in a commercial composting facility, where higher composting temperatures can be reached and is between 90-180 days. Most existing international standards require biodegradation of 60% within 180 days along with certain other criteria for the resin or product to be called compostable. It is also important to make the distinction between degradable vs. biodegradable vs. compostable as often these terms are used interchangeably.
Biodegradable Plastic is plastic which will degrade from the action of naturally occurring microorganism, such as bacteria, fungi etc. over a period of time. Note, that there is no requirement for leaving "no toxic residue", and as well as no requirement for the time it needs to take to biodegrade.
Recycling is also important for the environmental and for that we also have a recycled bags page with interesting information.
Degradable plastic includes all classes of degradable plastic including the biodegradable and compostable. However, plastic that is not biodegradable or compostable usually use the label Degradable plastic. Most of the products using the label Degradable plastic, degrade as result of physical and chemical impact. Biological activity is not a significant part of the degradation of these products, or the process is too slow to earn the classification Biodegradable or Compostable.
Types of Degradable Plastic
Some degradable plastic products are based on starch derived from maize. These materials predominantly require an active microbial environment such as landfill or composting before they will degrade some will totally degrade in such an environment but others will only perforate, and the plastic component will not degrade. The remaining plastic particles can e harmful to soil, birds and other wildlife. Whilst using renewable ingredients may seem attractive in principle, they do not offer the best way forward.
Another type of degradable plastic uses aliphatic polyesters, which are relatively expensive. In the same manner as starch, they rely on microbial activity in compost or landfills before they will degrade.
These will degrade when exposed to sunlight, but will not degrade in a landfill, a sewer, or other dark environment.
The products above degrade by a process of HYDRO-degradation, but the most useful and economic of the new technologies produces plastic, which degrades by a process of OXOdegradation. This technology is based on a small amount of pro-degradant additive (typically 3%) being introduced into the conventional manufacturing process, thereby changing the behavior of the plastic. This does not rely on microbes for the degradation of the plastic, which starts immediately after manufacture and will accelerate when exposed to heat, light or stress. This process is irrevocable and continues until the material has reduced to nothing more than CO2 and water. It does not therefore leave fragments of petro-polymers in the soil.
Biodegradable or Biodegradeable?
It is very common to misspell biodegradable as biodegradeable (please take note yourself as some of our domains are actually misspelt!) and the same happens with degradable as degradeable. In fact when written down the word biodegradable often looks like an incorrect spelling and has been known to be corrected to biodegradeable by some overzealous and missinformed editors. So, now you know if someone tells you otherwise stick out your guns!