xo-biodegradable additives are catalytic materials that are incorporated into normally traditional polyolefines. Here, the idea is to alter their degradation behavior. They will undergo a two-step process: an oxidative process that is kicked off by catalytic additives that is then followed by biodegradation.
The process enables the bottle and other items to fragment and degrade from light, heat, mechanical stress, and moisture.
Overall, the technology adds transition metals of cobalt (Co) at 33 ppm, magnesium (Mg), or manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), or nickel (Ni) into the polymer. These metal ions are susceptible to light, heat, moisture, and mechanical stress and as such, weaken the tensile strength of the polymer chain.
The final result is an oxo-biodegradable plastic that can degrade -- its molecular weight has been reduced -- into smaller and smaller pieces due to the actions of bacteria and fungi in the soil or disposal environment. The end product actually enters the environment more quickly than twigs, grass, straw, or leaves. The material is also reduced further into water, carbon dioxide, and the cell biomass.