Do we work both with governments and local productions?

Yes, we advise both governments, firms and local productions in environmental issues; herunder production and use of environmental friendly plastic solutions.

How do we work with low carbon audits?

We assist governments and local societies in low carbon solutions. 

What is oxo-biodegradation?

Oxo-biodegradation refers to a two stage process of changing plastic products. Our oxo-biodegradable additives cause oxidation, leading to the molecular break down of plastic. Microbial organisms found in our everyday lives, completes the biodegradation process by metabolizing the remaining polymer structure as food.

How does oxo-biodegradable technology work?

A very small amount of oxo-biodegradable additive is put into the standard manufacturing process.  This breaks the molecular chains in the polymer, and at the end of its useful life the product degrades. It will be consumed by bacteria and fungi after the additive has reduced the molecular weight to a level which permits them access to the carbon and hydrogen.

What are the outcomes of oxo-biodegradation?

After biodegradation all that is left are CO2, water, and biomass (hummus).  

How long do oxo-biodegradable bags take to degrade?

An important advantage of oxo-biodegradable plastic is that it can be programmed to degrade in more or less whatever timescale is required. The average useful life of a carrier bag is usually designed to be about 18 months (to allow for distribution, stocking, and re-use), but shorter or longer times are possible. During that time bags are often re-used for shopping or for use as bin-liners etc. Heat and light will accelerate the process, but they are not essential. If discarded in the outdoor environment at the end of its useful life the bag will degrade and biodegrade much more quickly than conventional plastic. Timescale for the degradation phase of the oxo-biodegradation process can be predicted by laboratory tests, but it is not necessary or possible to predict the timescale for subsequent biodegradation.

What does it cost? 

There is very little additional cost because the additive represents only 1% of the polymer, and because no changes to the normal production process are required.

Isn’t there a better way to solve the litter problem?

Hopefully people can be educated and persuaded not to cause litter but there is a huge amount of plastic litter today and there is likely to always be some litter. Action needs to be taken today to switch to oxo-biodegradable plastic before millions more tons of plastic waste accumulate in the environment.

 Can oxo-biodegradable plastic be composted?

Oxo-biodegradable plastic does not degrade quickly in low temperature “windrow” composting, and it will not therefore pass the tests in EN13432 (European norm for compostable plastics) in the timescale in this Standard.

What happens to oxo-biodegradable plastic in a landfill?

Oxo-biodegradable plastics fragment and partially biodegrade to CO2 and water in the parts of the landfill where oxygen is present, but degradation cannot continue deeper in the landfill in the absence of oxygen.

Do oxo-biodegradable plastics contain “heavy metals”? 

No. Oxo-biodegradable additives contain metal salts, which are trace elements required in the human diet. They should not be confused with toxic heavy metals such as Lead, Mercury, Cadmium and Chromium, which are never used in oxo-biodegradable plastics.

Does oxo-biodegradable plastic leave any harmful residues?

No. Oxo-biodegradable plastic passes all the usual eco-toxicity tests, including seed germination, plant growth and organism survival (daphnia, earthworms) tests carried out in accordance with OECD standards.

Is oxo-biodegradable plastic safe for food-contact?

Yes. Oxo-biodegradable plastic has been certified as safe for long-term contact with any food type at temperatures up to 40°C according to European regulations. Oxo-biodegradable plastics are also certified as compliant with FDA requirements in the USA.

Wouldn’t it be better to use paper bags rather than oxo-biodegradable plastic bags?

No. The process of making paper bags causes 70% more atmospheric pollution than plastic bags. Paper bags use 300% more energy to produce, and the process uses huge amounts of water and creates very unpleasant organic waste. When they degrade they emit methane and carbon dioxide.

A stack of 1000 new plastic carrier bags would be around 2 inches high, but a stack of 1000 new paper grocery bags could be around 2 feet high. It would take at least seven times the number of trucks to deliver the same number of bags, creating seven times more transport pollution and road congestion.

Also, because paper bags are not as strong as plastic, people may use two or three bags inside each other.  Paper bags cannot normally be re-used, and will disintegrate if wet.

Isn’t it better to use re-usable bags?

No. Long-term re-usable shopping bags are not the answer. They are much thicker and more expensive, and a large number of them would be required for the weekly shopping of an average family. They are not hygienic unless cleaned after each use. Whilst sometimes called “Bags for Life” they have a limited life, depending on the treatment they receive, and become a very durable problem when discarded.

Shoppers do not always go to the shop from home, where the re-usable bags would normally be kept, and consumers are unlikely to have a re-usable bag with them when buying on impulse items such as clothing, groceries, CDs, magazines, stationery etc.  

However, for those who believe in long-term re-usable bags, they can be made from extended-life oxo-biodegradable washable plastic containing an anti-microbial additive.

For how long time can you keep these oxo-biodegradable bags?

When our oxo - biodegradable products is produced, as long as it can be kept away from direct sunlight (in a warehouse for example) then for at least 2 years nothing will change and the product will remain perfect for use. The degradation process only starts when the stabilizers are used up and this only starts to happen after exposure to sunlight for at least 48 hours. The idea of using oxo is that there are no changes during the useful life of the product and only after it has been disposed of does the product start to degrade.

What are the current standards and test methods for oxo-biodegradable plastic?

Current test standards are ASTM D6954 and BS8472, and these provide framework and test methodologies to determine degradation, biodegradation and non-ecotoxicity of the oxo-biodegraded material. There are no standard specifications which provide a pass/fail criteria for oxo-biodegradability such as those available for industrial compostable plastics (ASTM D6400, EN13432, SPCR 141-4). This is due to the intrinsic difficulty of defining a natural environment

Are there any future standards/test methods being developed?

Oxo-Biodegradable Plastics Federation members technically lead a work item at ASTM, WK49920, which is reviewing and refining ASTM D6954-04 (2013) to reflect the knowledge built up since first inception in 2004. There is also considerable discussion and work that the OBPF is involved with at ASTM to formulate agreed definitions for different aspects of the natural environment.

How much does the testing of my plastic product cost?

The labs are developed to help the customers find the additive and loading rate that works best for them. Testing is conducted for all customers and potential customers. All testing is conducted in-house. Upon completion, our labs send a full report on your specific plastic product. 

Are these kinds of plastic bags also used in Europe?

Very few oxo bags are used in Europe (Greece is the only country where most of the supermarkets use oxo bags and we have a massive share in this market) and the main reason for this is that recycling schemes are on the whole very good and therefore the problem of plastic waste finding its way into the environment is nowhere near as large as say, countries in Africa. Also, many European countries have introduced charges for plastic bags in supermarkets which has led to a massive reduction in the use of these.

For any further information, please contact customer service at telephone or email: oxobioplastic@nordicecoflex.dk


DENMARK: Nordic EcoFlex Int. Denmark, Europe

Email: oxobioplastic@nordicecoflex.dk WEB: www.nordicecoflex.dk