- This is what the oxo biodegradable world claim:
The Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association exists to provide information to encourage greater understanding of oxo-biodegradable plastic technology and the role it can play in protecting the environment for future generations. The Association continues to grow - it now has 87 members in 72 countries. Members are manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and commercial end-users of oxo-biodegradable plastic. It is proud to have on its Scientific Advisory Board some of the world's most distinguished experts in this field of chemistry. Oxo-biodegradable plastic technology provides the safest, most cost-effective method of degrading plastic, with control over the degradation time.
- This is what the hydro biodegradable / compostable world claim:
BioBag products are BPI certified to meet the ASTM D 6400 specification.
When it comes to making marketing claims regarding a product's biodegradable or compostable attributes, the ASTM D 6400 is the industry's gold standard. The ASTM D 6400 is the North American equivalent of the European EN 13432. Both specifications require that biodegradable products completely decompose in a composting setting in a specific time frame, leaving no harmful residues behind.
It is important to note that the ASTM D 6400 is an ASTM specification, meaning specific results must be attained to receive certification. Some manufacturers, who have not met the ASTM D 6400 specification, may reference other ASTM standards to promote their products. Usually, these companies will reference the ASTM 6954 or the ISO 14855 as proof that they have surpassed some standard for biodegradation. In fact, the ASTM 6954 and the ISO 14855 are standard procedures to be followed for conducting tests and have no pass/fail requirements for heavy metal content or a product's ability to disintegrate.
The ASTM D 6400 is currently the ultimate test for a biodegradable product's ability to decompose in ideal composting conditions. Think about it. If a product can't "go away" after being ground up, tumbled, heated to 165 degrees, and placed in the optimum setting for decomposition, a well-run composting site, would it meet most consumers beliefs of what a biodegradable product should be?
Because of the number of unsubstantiated claims in the marketplace, the State of California (see California Law) enacted into law a requirement that products sold in California must meet the ASTM D 6400 specification to claim any "biodegradable qualities." In fact, the state now requires the word "compostable" to be used to define a product's ability to decompose.
Actually, both parties are correct and are reasonable to promote the best benefit of the technology to serve the purpose of the green products:
When do we need oxo biodegradable/ oxo degradable:
- if the bag is not going to end in compost, then we want it to degrade faster, instead of leaving in landfill, ocean, mountains for more than 400 years.
- if the bag need strength and factory cannot change the process, but really need an alternative to go green or become greener.
- if the bag is going to end in compost, for example to tailor to local compost program, to make compost food waste into organic energy, then oxo biodegradable supplier should make consumer 100% understand the oxo bags cannot be used to serve the compost purpose
When do we need hydro/ compostable plastics:
- if the product is going to compost facility for sure, then the compost bag will be required to meet the local compost regulations (for example, in California) - fit the purpose
- but if the product is not going to be disposed in "compost", since compostable bags will not degrade in non-compostable environment, so it will become a pollution too, some compostable product supplier need to stress for consumer's understanding and really make compost bags fit the purpose.
Besides from compostable plastics, oxo biodegradable plastics, there is also "degradable plastics" which only make plastics to break down into small flakes and pieces due to the material is only design to break down into small pieces without changing the material structure, without transforming the material into bio-assimilated materials. So, it's very important to consumers to look at the product packaging for details whether the bags are made by certified technologies
, proven test results, and endorsed by recognized organization that support the technology from professional and knowledgable advisory board.