Eco-Only

TRU-PAC delivers the Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) range of master-batch additives to plastic product manufacturers which allow them to offer their customers biodegradable plastic products that can be priced competitively and have the same mechanical characteristics as traditional non-degradable products.

The revolutionary additive, when combined with the most widely-used plastic resins, renders the finished plastic products biodegradable while maintaining their other desired characteristics.

Plastic products made with Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) additives:

  • Fully biodegradable wherever disposed of where other materials are biodegrading (anaerobically & aerobically):

    • In landfill

    • In compost (domestic as well as commercial facilities)

    • Buried in the ground or littered

    • Agricultural and erosion-control settings

  • Are recyclable

  • Can be made with recycled resins

  • Do not use heat, light or mechanical stress to break them down

  • Do not require special handling (unlike PLA & oxo-biodegradable products)

  • Do not contain heavy metals (unlike most oxo-biodegradable products)

There is 50% biodegradation of the plastic product in under 3 years with Eco-Only (T-P6.0404)
The process continues until the plastic products become part of the organic components of soil as any naturally biodegraded material, such as wood, become part of soil.

Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) Technology for the Biodegradation of Plastic Products

The Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) technology is an additive which, when combined in small quantities with any of the popular plastic resins, renders the end products biodegradable while maintaining their other desired characteristics.  It is sold as Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) MasterBatch Pellets and has been developed to the point where most plastic product manufacturers can use the additive without having to modify their existing methods of production any more than if they were changing the product’s colour. The resulting plastic products exhibit the same desired mechanical properties, have effectively similar shelf-lives, and yet, when disposed of, are able to be metabolised into biomass by the communities of microorganisms commonly found almost everywhere on this planet. 


This biodegradation process can take place aerobically and anaerobically.  It can take place with or without the presence of light. These factors allow for biodegradation even in landfill conditions which are normally inconducive to any degradation with other technologies. Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) technology differs significantly from other “degradable plastics” emerging in the market today because it does not attempt to replace the currently popular plastic resin formulations but instead enhances them by rendering them biodegradable. 


Recognising the environmental concerns related to plastics and the market potential, the corporate and scientific communities have long sought to develop degradable plastics. However, degradable plastics introduced to date possess several weaknesses that have prevented widespread acceptance in the marketplace. Photo-degradable products, for example, do not degrade in landfills due to the lack of sunlight and oxygen (they are typically covered with another layer of rubbish before the degradation can occur).  At the same time these photo-degradable products present difficult circumstances for storage before use due to their reactivity to light. Similarly, plastic products manufactured with PLA and such “renewable” replacement resins fail to biodegrade as litter or in a landfill, are very expensive to manufacture, and often do not achieve the requisite physical properties. 


Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) technology is a process which enables the microorganisms in the environment to metabolise the molecular structure of plastic products into humus that is beneficial to the environment. The Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) masterbatch process utilises several proprietary compounds that are combined into a masterbatch pellet that is easily added to plastic resins using existing technology. 

Technology

The plastic products made with Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) additives will break down in nearly all landfills or wherever else they may end up. All sorts of factors determine the amount of microbes available in the soil. The soil conditions determine the rate of degradation.

 

The plastic products made with Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) technology rely on the microbes in the soil to react with the additives and form communities of biofilms. These then create the enzymes and acids that can attack the long-chain hydrocarbon molecules and break them down to the point where the microbes natural acids and enzymes are then effective and the microbes can metabolise the simple hydrocarbons. Carbon dioxide,  water, methane and humus are the waste products produced. This process continues until all the plastic product is fully biodegraded.

Testing
Several renowned testing laboratories have independently established the biodegradability of plastic products made with Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) additives. The tests concluded that the products were fully biodegradable under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. In addition, the tests concluded that their biodegradation did not produce any toxic residue harmful to living organisms in land or in water. 

Plastic products treated with Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) have been tested and proved as being biodegradable* and safe for the environment by using the following:

  • ASTM D5209

    • “Standard Test Method for determining the Aerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials in the Presence of Municipal Sewage Sludge”

  • ISO 14855/ASTM D5338

    • “Standard Test Method for Determining Aerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials under Controlled Composting Conditions”

  • ASTM 5511

    • “Standard Test Method for Determining Anaerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under High-Solids Anaerobic Digestion Conditions”

Where will the plastic product biodegrade?

  • Home composting 

  • Commercial composting

  • Landfills

  • Buried in, or in contact with the soil 

  • Erosion / agricultural netting & film 

  • Litter 

Where will the plastic product not degrade? 

  • Warehouses 

  • Store shelves 

  • Offices & home 

* Typical biodegradation during testing showed a rate of 49.28% after 900 days

Life Expectancy of Products Manufactured with Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) MasterBatch Pellets
The life expectancy of plastic products that are manufactured with at least a one percent (1%) load, by weight, of  Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) MasterBatch Pellets can be explained through two types of life expectancies. The first is the life expectancy of the plastic when it is on the warehouse or store shelf, in regular usage as packaging or other normal plastic usage.  The second type of life expectancy has to do with the situation when the same plastic has been put in conditions wherein it has constant contact with other materials that are biodegrading.
Plastic products manufactured with Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) Master Batch Pellets will have the same life expectancy as the same plastic product manufactured without our additives under all but the conditions mentioned above wherein they are placed in constant contact with other materials that are biodegrading (i.e. on / buried in the ground or in water). This is one of the major reasons why our biodegradable plastic technology is so successful.


The principles concerned with the degradation of plastics that make use of Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) additive technology are truly involved with “bio”-degradation.  The technology does not rely on the use of photo-sensitivity or thermal sensitivity to photo-degrade or thermally break down the plastics.  For this reason, a blow-molded HDPE shampoo bottle or motor oil bottle manufactured with Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) additive will last in the warehouse and on the store shelf as long as it would without any additive.  


There is the real concern for technologies that make use of thermal or photodegradation that they are simply leaving smaller particles of plastic in the soil rather than having the material truly become the organic components of soil.  This is especially of concern in the agricultural industry and for those needing erosion control products.  Agricultural films, erosion control nettings, and other such products manufactured with our additives will last long enough to get the required use but will completely biodegrade into the soil.  It is not a “poof, it’s gone” system but simply makes the plastic product biodegrade as if it were a stick or a branch off a tree rather than lingering in the environment for hundreds of years.


To summarise the concept, the key to our technology is that the right conditions for biodegradation are not those found when the plastic product is in use, is on the store shelves or is being warehoused somewhere.  Just like a wood bowl or a piece of wood furniture, which can be used for a lifetime or more, a plastic product with our additives can be used for essentially the same period of time as the same plastic product without any additives being used.


Concerning the life expectancy of the plastic products manufactured with Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) additives once they are placed in constant contact with other biodegrading materials, the manufacturers certify the full biodegradation of almost all plastic products manufactured with at least a one percent load of Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) additive. The manufacturers can certify this situation due to the extensive internal and external studies that have been undertaken.  Eco-Only (T-P6.0404) additives have been tested in all of these types of polyolefins, EVAs, PVCs, PETs, PSs, PUs and combinations thereof. Much of the testing was performed using the various world-standardised tests in independent laboratories by independent scientists. We have had the various test data analysed by independent scientists and the  certification is based on their conclusions.

© 2019 by TRU-PAC

TRU-PAC  |  +353 1 851 0045  |  info@tru-pac.ie