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Biodegradable Refuse Sacks

Tie handle, draw tape, and multi-purpose refuse sacks and waste bags. Made with oxo-biodegradable technology.

Our draw tape sacks use a revolutionary technology. It has the appearance, strength, and performance of conventional plastic. Thanks to oxo-biodegradable technology, this product will degrade into water, carbon dioxide, and inorganic powder when the user throws out the sack into their normal waste stream.

d2w oxo-biodegradable refuse sacks

How does it work?

d2w oxo-biodegradable plastic is a proprietary technology applied to plastic products. It causes the plastic to biodegrade in the presence of oxygen.

We embed a catalyst within the plastic at the time of manufacture to start a controlled breakdown into water, carbon dioxide, and biomass. This catalyst speeds up oxidative degradation of the polymer chains when exposed to heat, light, and stress. The additive does not change the physical properties of the carrier plastics during their normal useful life.

The result is that they behave differently from ordinary non-oxo-biodegradable plastics, which persist in the environment for hundreds if not thousands of years after disposal.

Do these biodegradable waste bags actually degrade or do they just fragment?

Oxo-degradable (not “biodegradable”) waste bags may not be all that they seem.

Many consumers are being misled into believing that these bags will biodegrade in landfill conditions. This is not true.

Most oxo-degradable plastics do not break down into carbon dioxide, water, biomass, and mineral salts (i.e. biodegrade). Instead they fragment into small pieces of plastic, which then act like microplastics. They can then enter the waterways, oceans, and our soils. They can even get ingested by wildlife or accumulate in sewage sludge applied to agricultural land.

Oxo-biodegradable plastics, on the other hand, degrade into water, CO2, and biomass.

How good are biodegradable refuse sacks for energy recovery?

Oxo-biodegradable refuse sacks are an eco friendly product. Micro organisms such as bacteria, fungus, and algae can consume these bags for recycling. They also have a high calorific value, more so than hydro-biodegradable alternatives. Incinerating them with conventional refuse helps in energy recovery.

Can you compost d2w oxo-biodegradable refuse sacks?

The purpose of d2w oxo-biodegradable plastic is to provide a material that behaves like ordinary plastic during its useful life. It will then oxidise and biodegrade in the open environment if disposed of improperly.

Composting d2w oxo-biodegradable refuse sacks will result in compost containing plastic fragments. Under the EN13432 standard for composting biodegradable plastics, it is not permitted to use the compost in food production.

What happens to oxo-biodegradable waste bags in landfill?

In a landfill they may not biodegrade or compost because the conditions do not favour such reactions. Heat and light promote the degradation, so they will begin to degrade only when they are exposed to the atmosphere. On a rubbish tip, however, most of the material is placed in landfill cells that are capped with soil as soon as possible. This prevents oxygen ingress and prevents oxidation-reduction reactions from taking place.

The average lifespan of a landfill site is 30 years. During this time it is possible that some oxo-biodegradable waste bags will be degraded by microorganisms present in the landfill.

Even if there were no degradation at all, it would still be preferable for oxo-biodegradable waste bags to be used. This is because they are likely to break down quicker if they escape from landfill into the environment.

By contrast, hydro-biodegradable plastics break down naturally when discarded and return to water, CO2, and biomass. However, hydro-biodegradable plastics can contribute to greenhouse gas production if allowed to degrade in an oxygenless landfill.

How long do biodegradable refuse sacks take to degrade?

Oxo-biodegradable plastic can be programmed to degrade in whatever timescale is required.

The average useful life of a carrier bag is designed to be about 18 months to allow for distribution, stocking, and re-use. 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. Most of our biodegradable refuse sacks take between 12–24 months to completely degrade, but this time can be shortened if they are exposed to more heat or moisture.

If discarded in the outdoor environment at the end of its useful life it will degrade and biodegrade much more quickly than conventional plastic. Timescales for the abiotic phase can be predicted by laboratory tests, but it is not necessary or possible to predict timescale for subsequent biodegradation.

Do biodegradable refuse sacks contain heavy metals?

d2w oxo-biodegradable refuse sacks don’t contain any heavy metals. This is because heavy metals—such as cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury—are not added intentionally to plastic waste. Heavy metals are normally present in small quantities in the raw materials that are used to make plastics.

If heavy metals are present in small amounts in oxo-biodegradable plastics, they may be released into the environment during degradation.

However, this problem is overcome by the fact that the degradation process leads to the formation of humic acid, which binds any heavy metals present and prevents them from being released into the environment.

Aren’t oxo-biodegradable plastics still made from oil?

Yes.

Oxo-biodegradable plastics are made from a by-product of oil or natural gas. However, the by-product would still be used for fuels and lubricants even if it were not put to use in plastic goods. Therefore, until other options can be found for powering engines, using the by-product as a substitute for agricultural resources is an environmentally responsible decision.

Recently, researchers have been interested in producing biodegradable plastics derived from sugar in Brazil. These, like oil-derived plastics, are not biodegradable, but can be made oxo-biodegradable by adding a pro-degradant additive.

Do d2w oxo-biodegradable waste bags leave any harmful residues after degrading?

No.

In fact d2w oxo-biodegradable waste bags have been independently tested and certified by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) to British Standard BS8472:2008.

d2w oxo-biodegradable waste bags are proven and tested to degrade completely into harmless material, leaving only water, CO2 and biomass behind when tested in accordance with British Standards EN 13432:2000.

d2w oxo-biodegradable waste bags are also subject to the European Waste Framework Directive (WFD), which requires that degradation does not cause any harmful substances to remain after the plastic has been disposed of.

Where can I get d2w oxo-biodegradable refuse sacks?