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M&H launches biodegradable materials thanks to oxo-bio additive

By Katie Bird , 18-Aug-2009
Last updated the 18-Aug-2009 at 13:16 GMT

M&H Plastics has launched an additive that will allow its bottles, caps and tubes to biodegrade after ten years in a landfill.

The oxo-biodegradable additive breaks down the polymer chains in the plastic to make them brittle, which allows it to breakdown in a similar way to other compostable materials, according to the company.

“This is a new addition to the range of materials M&H can offer to meet increased demand for sustainable products. These include Post Consumer Regrding, Post Industrial Regrind and PLA (Polylactic Acid),” said sales and marketing director of M&H Plastics Simon Chidgey.

Total product can be biodegradable

As it can be incorporated into blow moulded HDPE bottles (those often used for shampoos and other personal care products) and the polypropylene material often used for the caps, the whole product could be constructed out of biodegradable material, explained Vicky Johns from M&H Plastics.

In addition, the company can supply biodegradable labels that can compost within days of being discarded so the whole product package can be constructed out of compostable materials.

Final properties of the material are not affected so there are no limitations in terms of formulations and products the bottles can be used for, explained M&H Plastic’s Vicky John.

Furthermore, it is judged safe to be used in contact with food so the materials with the additive can be used by the food packaging industry.

According to Johns, the speed that the material could biodegrade and under what conditions was tested by an external team.

“Once in the landfill the UV light kick starts the process and the heat in the soil continues the composting, just like any other decomposing product,” she said.

“We had a trial carried out that replicated the process in a landfill, but at a faster speed,” she explained.

The trial concluded that the additive would allow a material that normally takes hundreds of years to biodegrade, to compost in 5-10 years.

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