Thursday, October 28, 2010

MASTERPAK Begins Production of Oxo-Biodegradable Plastic

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MASTERPAK begins development of eco-friendly oxo-biodegradable plastic bags and films during the 1st quarter of 2010.
In recent years the disposal of plastic products has stirred much controversy regarding the negative effects plastic has on nature and on wild life. Growing concerns have pushed lebanese polyethylene film manufacturer, MASTERPAK in Zouk Mosbeh, to look for a feasible solution.

Polyethylene is a strong and durable material due to its molecular composition and strong chemical bonds and thus does not degrade easily. These characteristics, however, are the reasons behind why plastic is appropriate for packaging uses.

MASTERPAK, through the use oxo-biodegradable plastic additives, targets all concerns about normal plastic, as well as degradable plastic.

Creating Eco-Friendly Plastic Retaining Important Plastic Characteristics
Polyethylene is attractive for packaging purposes, due to its strength, flexibility, as well as water and air resistance. Thus, while finding methods to speed up the degradation process of plastic it is also vital to preserve these key characteristics.

MASTERPAK produces eco-friendly plastic that has all the normal characteristics of plastic but oxo-biodegrades. The oxo-biodegradable additive combined with the polyethylene is usually at a low level, resulting in a negligible impact on the finished product.

The plastic packaging film or bag still retains the characteristics: strength, impermeability, clarity, and sealability. Furthermore, no changes are required in the plastic manufacturing process, as well as no affect on line speeds.

Avoiding Soil Disposal of Plastic

Bio-degradable plastic needs to be exposed to a biologically active environment to begin degrading. An example of such exposure is by burying the plastic product in the soil. This disposal system, however, is not always effective with plastic packaging resurfacing and polluting the environment.

MASTERPAK oxo-biodegradable polyethylene films and bags do not need a biologically active environment to begin degradation. The plastic degrades under many different conditions, even if only exposed to open air. After degradation the plastic will break down to harmless H2O, CO2, and negligible amounts of biomass. Furthermore, totally degradable plastics can be recycled.

How to Control the Degradation Process

A common concern about degradable plastic is the plastic durability and life, whether degradable plastic will last as long as necessary. Some plastic bags and films require long life durability while others such as a bread bag might need a few weeks.

MASTERPAK’s totally degradable plastic is unique, due to the controllable nature of the degradation process. Thus with the use of stabilizers, plastic films and bags can have a sufficiently long useful life according to the product requirements.

By controlling the additive composition, oxo-biodegradable plastics can degrade from as early as 60 days to as long as 6 years.

Is the Additive HarmfulAnother concern manufacturers of degradable plastics are facing, is the question of whether the additive in plastic packaging is harmful when coming in contact with food and beverage products. MASTERPAK uses a small harmless percentage of an oxo-biodegradable additive made of metal salts. Tests have proven that this oxo-biodegradable plastic is safe to come into direct contact with food and beverage products.

MASTERPAK is a member of INDEVCO Flexible Packaging, a division of INDEVCO Group, the 'Local Multinational of the Middle East'

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