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Making Plastic Smarter

Biodegradable Products

Biodegradable

There is no doubt that education has a role to play in encouraging people to deal responsibly with all kinds of waste material, but in the case of plastic waste d2w® provides low cost insurance against irresponsible disposal. d2w® environmentally-responsible oxo-bio plastic will degrade in the open environment. Timeframe depends upon environmental conditions and can take several years.  They are not suitable for Commercial Composting.

Technical Information and Credentials

No compromises

There is no change in the properties of d2w® based products. For all practical purposes the degradable alternative is indistinguishable from non-degradable. Strength, clarity, sealability, printing properties, gas and moisture permeability, for example, are all the same as their non-degradable alternatives during the useful life of the product. There is also no need to change any features or practices involved in the standard plastics manufacturing processes - output is unaffected.

It is virtually impossible to distinguish newly made degradable plastics from their non-degradable alternatives - in many cases the use of the d2w® droplet logo on the finished product is authorised in order to distinguish those which are degradable and have been made using the additive.

Comprehensively tested and proven

A wide range of tests have been undertaken and further product testing and improvements are ongoing priorities.

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Little or no additional cost

In most cases any additional cost involved is small. Any technology premium which might have applied in the past is rapidly reducing as take-up of the technology is becoming widespread. Also, any extra cost is invariably outweighed by the significant Marketing, PR and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) benefits of adopting degradability.

Wide range of applications

Almost all flexible and semi-rigid polyethylene and polypropylene films - blown and cast as well as single and multi-layered - are capable of being made degradable using d2w® technology.

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How does d2w Controlled-life Plastic work?

Stage 1: d2w additive is included in the basic polymer resin during the manufacturing process.

Stage 2: d2w breaks the molecular chains so that at the end of its predetermined service life the plastic starts degrading in the presence of oxygen by a process of oxidation, which is accelerated by light, heat and stress.

Stage 3: Finally bio-degradation is completed by micro-organisms.

Molecular Chain

The molecular mass of a material can be a good indication of the complexity of its molecular chains and thus resistance to oxidation.

Molecular mass is the weight of the atoms that make up an individual molecule of the material. So, for example, water is two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom - H2O. The atomic mass of hydrogen is 1.00784 and that of oxygen is 15.9994; therefore, the molecular mass of water with formula H2O is (2 x 1.00784) + 15.9994 = 18.01508. One molecule of water weighs 18u, but the molecular mass of a typical polyethylene is 300,000.

The d2w formulation is in the form of a metal salt. After a period of planned stability due to the anti-oxidants contained in the d2w formulation it causes a breakdown of the carbon-carbon bonds in the molecular chains - i.e. chain cleavage, or scission. The plastic product will become brittle and disintegrate into tiny flakes. As the chains continue to reduce in size, oxygen is permitted to bond with the carbon and produce CO2. The molecular mass descends to below 40,000u and at that stage, the material effectively becomes water wettable and micro-organisms can access the carbon and hydrogen.

This stage can accurately be described as bio-degradation. At this point the material is no longer a plastic but has become a material capable of bio-assimilation. 

It is well known that there is a "plastic soup" of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean which now covers an area greater than the size of Texas. If all short-life plastics had been made with d2w - this environmental menace would be very much smaller.