We at Total Pack are delighted to be one of the first companies in the India to announce the addition of oxo-biodegradable stretch film to our product line. It’s an important milestone in our long-term objective of providing greener packaging solutions that are friendly to our planet but still conform to our high standards of performance.
The properties are achieved by the addition of an oxo-biodegradable additive to the film which changes the behaviour so that it breaks down and degrades, regardless of the disposal route. The beauty of this is that we can engineer the film to a desired lifespan depending on your requirements (typically 3-24 months).
The material begins the degradation process in the instant it is exposed to sunlight (UV), mechanical stress or moisture meaning that there are no extra efforts required compared with using standard stretch films.
Through extensive testing, we have concluded that this is the best method of achieving an eco-friendly stretch film which still has the required elongation and memory properties to make it an alternative solution to our standard stretch films.
Our eco-friendly stretch film is:
100% biodegradable and recyclable
Compliant with UK, EU and US food regulations
Identical in performance to our standard stretch film
Additive based (Oxo-Biodegradable)
These films are made by blending an additive to provide an oxidative and then a biological mechanism to degrade them, this typically takes 3 months to 2 years in the environment with adequate exposure to oxygen. Degradation is a two stage process, first the plastic is converted by reaction with oxygen (light, heat and/or stress accelerates the process but is not essential) to low molecular-weight fragments that water can wet and then these smaller oxidized molecules are biodegraded i.e. converted into carbon dioxide, water and biomass by micro-organisms. This is similar to the breakdown of woody plant material where it is broken down and forms a humus component improving the soil quality. If put in an in-vessel composting system this type of plastic will rapidly break down but it is not currently marketed as compostable.
Pros & cons of additive based biodegradable bags and film
Much cheaper than starch-based plastics.
Made with normal machinery and can be used in high speed machines.
Materials are well known.
Does not compete against food production.
These films look, act and perform just like their non-degradable counterparts during their programmed service-life but then break down when discarded.
They are certified non-toxic, and safe for food-contact.
Degradation depends on access to air.
Not designed to degrade in landfill but can be safely landfilled. Will degrade if oxygen is present and will NOT emit methane in landfill.
They are not suitable for PET or PVC.
Precise rate of degradation/biodegradation cannot be predicted but will be faster than nature’s waste’s such as straw or wood and much faster than normal plastic.
Like normal plastics they are made from a by-product of oil or natural gas.
If mixed with other plastics for recycling the recycling process is compromised.