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MSU study undermines the claims of biodegradation additives for polymers

A new study conducted at Michigan State University,  East Lansing, MI, reports that the additives touted to promote the biodegradation of polyolefins and PET do not live up to their claims.

The study, Evaluation of Biodegradation-Promoting Additives for Plastics, was posted by the American Chemical Society as a "Just accepted" manuscript on Feb. 27, 2015.

As the study points out, a number of countries have adopted legislation promoting the use of biodegradation-promoting additives in polyolefins and PET. Yet, as the authors, who are from the MSU School of Packaging and the MSU Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering department noted: "Biodegradation-promoting additives for polymers are increasingly being used around the world with the claim that they effectively render commercial polymers biodegradable. However, there is a lot of uncertainty about their effectiveness in degrading polymers in different environments."

Remarkably, it was found that, despite the claims of the manufacturers, none of the five different additives tested significantly increased biodegradation in any of these environments. There was no evidence that these additives either promoted and/or enhanced biodegradation of PE or PET polymers.

You can read the full article in PlasticsToday.

TAGS: Technologies
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