With time, more and more consumers are becoming eco-conscious; therefore, companies need to implement sustainable practices to ensure maximum eco-friendliness.
Furthermore, the goal of exploring and using alternatives like compostable and oxo-biodegradable plastic bags is important to mitigate the impacts of climate change.
A common problem associated with traditional plastics used in plastic bags and cups is that they do not fully break down during composting. As a result, they end up contaminating other recyclable plastics as well.
Generally, the traditional plastic is made from polyester called polylactic acid, which causes significant landfill pollution.
Scientists at the University of California have developed an efficient technique to make compostable and oxo-biodegradable plastics break down more easily with the help of water and heat.
Generally, the plastic is supposed to break down into the water in contact with other organic materials in the compost bin. However, it takes them a long time to disintegrate or even to be shifted to an industrial composting centre for recycling.
The new way of quick degradation of compostable and oxo-biodegradable plastics includes adding heat and water to speed up the plastic breakdown and disintegration within a few weeks.
The wide adoption of this technique has the potential to solve a serious challenge in the plastic industry, promoting eco-friendliness among plastic bag suppliers and plastic bag companies.
The detailed study of the world’s first degradable and compostable plastic has been published after thorough research of 10 years. However, the exact working of this modern eco-friendly compostable and oxo-biodegradable plastic can be difficult to understand.
The simple explanation of this modern type of plastic is that the new material has built-in enzymes. Similar enzymes also exist in the human body for digestion purposes.
The enzymes in compostable and oxo-biodegradable plastics interact with synthetic polymers during the chewing process to convert the polymers into non-toxic small molecules. These small molecules serve as food for microbes and do not cause any harm to the environment.
The success of this research is that now it has become possible to affect the degradation rate of polyester and bring greater integrity into the critical processes of manufacturing, storage, and usage.
The primary focus of this research was on polycaprolactone (PLC) and polylactic acid (PLA) because these are the most frequently used plastics around the world.
It is also important to note that the built-in enzymes perform their function of breaking down polyester into tiny molecules under hot conditions.
Specifically, the PLC needs a temperature of 40°C to break down in two days, while the PLA needs six days to break down at a temperature of 50°C.
The innovation of compostable and oxo-biodegradable plastics is a significant game-changer for the plastic industry because, despite the massive popularity of recycling plastic, only about 9% of the global plastic is being recycled.
If plastic bags suppliers start providing easily compostable plastic bags and products like food wrapping, coffee cups, and other such items used on a daily basis, it can significantly reduce plastic pollution and promote eco-friendliness.
Moreover, other scientists and experts have also approved this new kind of plastic and consider it a big next step in making sure more people start adopting sustainable practices by using products that do not harm the environment.
The next step in this innovation will be launching compostable products on a massive commercial level. Plastic factories and plastic bag companies will play a vital role in adopting and offering such innovative solutions to ensure more users buy and use these products in their everyday lives.
The new compostable and oxo-biodegradable plastic is certainly a great improvement from the existing materials, but there is still room for more research and improvements.
For instance, the modified polyesters do not degrade quickly at a lower temperature, which places geographical restrictions on the applications of this material.
The bottom line is that there is a great need for innovative solutions in the plastics industry to promote eco-friendly practices and provide reliable alternatives to eco-conscious individuals.
New materials like compostable and oxo-biodegradable plastics pave the way for more innovations and improvements to initiate the conversation involving the adoption of eco-friendly biodegradable products.
With time, large-scale adoption of solutions like compostable and oxo-biodegradable plastics will play a vital role in mitigating the impact of climate change on the environment and ensuring sustainable usage of everyday plastic products.