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All about oxo-biodegradable plastic bags.

quote2008 was our second time experimenting with degradable plastic. We made biodegradable plastic bags in the 80s, but the quality was not acceptable to our customers. It’s amazing that recent advancements in plastic technology make our new degradable plastic bags indistinguishable from traditional plastic. We’re thrilled to offer it as an option on all plastic bags at no charge.

– Carol Constantino
President, Noteworthy

What is oxo-biodegradable plastic?

Oxo-biodegradable plastic is made by blending a pro-degradent additive into the plastic during the extrusion process. The additive causes the molecular structure of plastic to break down when exposed to heat or sunlight. The plastic will eventually be in a state where it can be digested by microorganisms. At this point, the plastic will degrade at a faster rate until it has fully degraded into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass.

Oxo-biodegradable plastic, is often referred to as “degradable” plastic, since it does not require a biological process to degrade. Microorganisms will speed up the degradation process, but they’re not required. This gives oxo-biodegradation a distinct advantage over prior methods for degrading plastic.

The degradation time varies depending on the amount of exposure to degradation promoters (sunlight, heat, and microorganisms). This is an optimal situation for consumers. Oxo-biodegradable plastic degrades quickest in the exact situation we want it to: when it becomes litter. If the plastic is used properly it will last many years, but once it becomes litter it could degrade in under 12 months.

In a landfill oxo-biodegradable plastic will degrade quickly if oxygen is available to assist the degradation process. However, unlike other types of degradable plastic, oxo-biodegradable plastic will not release methane as it degrades. This is another advantage over prior forms of biodegradable plastic.

Benefits of oxo-biodegradable plastic

Research on oxo-biodegradable plastic

Noteworthy uses an oxo-biodegradable additive called Reverte. Wells Plastic, the makers of Reverte, were kind enough to let us share their literature and research on oxo-biodegradable plastic.

Learn more