A recent LCA (life cycle assessment) carried out by leading US-based provider of environmental quality and safety services – Intertek, has shown that Oxo-degradable plastic carrier bags incorporating the d2w additive are “significantly ahead of other types of similar products”.
The d2w additive, manufactured by Symphony Environmental Technologies, changes the molecular structure of plastic carrier bags so they are no longer plastic, and become capable of bio-assimilation in the open environment.
Referred to as ‘d2w Intelligent Plastic Technology’ by Symphony, a member of the Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association, and a company committed to finding technical solutions to the world’s environmental problems, the polymer-based additive shortens the degradation and biodegradation process of plastic carrier bags, reducing the burden of plastic waste on the planet.
Symphony claim that their d2w formulation is suitable for a wide range of plastic products, and by adding just 1% during the manufacturing process, the additive will effectively help normal plastic carrier bags to “self-destruct” after they have served their purpose.
While d2w plastics are not considered ‘compostable’, carrier bags made with the additive are both re-usable and recyclable, and offer the same optical properties and performance of regular plastic bags.
So how does d2w work? Symphony has listed a 3-stage process:
- During the manufacturing process, d2w additive is included in the basic polymer resin.
- Once the plastic carrier bag reaches the end of its lifecycle, the d2w begins to break down the molecular chains, starting the degradation process, accelerated by heat, stress and light.
- The final bio-degradation is completed by micro-organisms.
As d2w plastics are made with the same machinery as normal plastics, there is no need to change the design or supplier of your plastic carrier bags and as a small amount of the additive is required, the increase in costs is minimal.
If we combine the use of additives like these with the three R’s of ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’, we can all help win the war against plastic waste.