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Oxo-biodegradable plastics in the spotlight

Environmental Products Inc. (EPI) has launched a new line of products to meet a growing demand for oxo-biodegradable plastics, a company spokesperson told PlasticsToday.

Environmental Products Inc. (EPI) has launched a new line of products to meet a growing demand for oxo-biodegradable plastics, a company spokesperson told PlasticsToday.

OxoGreen is EPI's brand of oxo-biodegradable plastic products incorporated with the company's own brand of additive known as Totally Degradable Plastic Additives (TDPA). An EPI spokesperson said oxo-biodegradable plastics offer an effective alternative to other forms of plastics that degrade over time.

"Bio-based plastics are expensive, cannot be recycled in existing recycling stream, are difficult to process and are generally thicker and heavier than conventional plastics," the spokesperson said. "With these limitations, oxo-biodegradable plastics remain the better and more cost effective solution to the issue of plastic waste management."

OxoGreen plastics are primarily polyethylene and polypropylene, in which a small percentage of the company's additive is added to make these products into what EPI calls controlled life plastics.

This year in Canada, OxoGreen will produce 100% degradable garbage bags, and whenever possible, these bags will also be made from 100% recycled materials.

Some OxoGreen products, such as garbage bags, are currently available in North America, the spokesperson said. Other products such as protective packaging, food contact bags, non-woven product, etc. will be added during the year to provide a comprehensive list of degradable/biodegradable products for consumers, business and institutions both in North America and globally.

U.A.E. law requires oxo-biodegradable additive use

Oxo-biodegradable additives recently made headlines when the United Arab Emirates brought forward its policy to ban all disposable plastic products except those made from oxo-biodegradable plastic.

The new law, which will go into effect in 2013, covers not just plastic bags, but all packaging and disposable articles made from plastic polymers derived from fossil-fuels. These include flexible shopping bags and semi-rigid plastic packaging for food, magazines, consumer-durables, garbage bags, bin-liners for household use, shrink wrap, pallet wrap and cling film - among other items.

With its controlled lifespan and its ability to biodegrade completely either on land or water, oxo-biodegradable plastic has proved popular across the Middle East and particularly in the U.A.E., the press release stated.

From now on, all plastic products will need an ECAS Registration Certificate issued by ESMA (Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology). These products must be made with pro-degradant additives from suppliers, which have been audited by ESMA and they have to comply with U.A.E. standards.

"EPI applauds the U.A.E. for their initiative in recognizing the detrimental implications of plastic pollution on the environment," the spokesperson stated. "Movements like this have certainly created huge opportunities for EPI's TDPA additives and OxoGreen plastic products."

TAGS: Packaging
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