Plastic bags can be made"oxo-biodegradable" by being manufactured from a normal plasticpolymer (i.e. polyethylene) or polypropylene incorporating an additive whichcauses degradation and then biodegradation of the polymer (polyethylene) due tooxidation.Most bags thatare manufactured from plastic are made from corn-based materials, likeÂ polylactic acidÂ blends.Biodegradable plastic bags arenowadays as strong and reliable as traditional bags.Many bags are also madefrom paper, organic materials, or polycaprolactone
In-plant scrap can often be recycled butpost-consumer sorting and recycling is difficult. Bio-based polymers willcontaminate the recycling of other more common polymers. Whileoxo-biodegradable plastic manufacturers claim that their bags are recyclable,many plastic film recyclers will not accept them, as there have been nolong-term studies on the viability of recycled-content products with theseadditives. Further, the Biodegradable Plastics Institute (BPI) says that theformulation of additives in oxo films varies greatly, which introduces evenmore variability in the recycling process Since there are no pass-failtests for "biodegradable" plastic bags, manufacturers must print onthe product the environmental requirements for biodegradation to take place,time frame and end results in order to be within US Trade Requirements. Require proper marking of these products to show theirperformance limits.
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