A company in the UK says it has developed an additive that allows plastics to degrade safely.

According to a recent article on Plastics Today’s website, the UK-based company Symphony Environmental Technologies has developed an additive called “d2w” that enables plastics to biodegrade safely in natural environments. The additive allows conventional plastic such as polyethylene and polypropylene to break down to a level where bacteria and fungi can assimilate it. This technology can be applied to various plastic products including packaging films, shopping bags, rigid containers, and closures.

When exposed to oxygen, UV light, and ambient heat, plastics containing this additive undergo a chemical transformation that leads to degradation. Over a period of 17 to 22 months, natural microbial action converts these plastics into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass, without leaving behind any heavy metals or toxic materials. Symphony’s approach aims to address the issue of plastic waste that often ends up as litter in the environment or the ocean.

The article states that Symphony’s biodegradable approach does not result in the creation of microplastics, unlike oxo-degradable techniques. The company claims to comply with global standards for testing biodegradable plastics, including ASTM D6954-18 and IS 17899 T: 2022. Symphony has also passed heavy-metal analysis and eco-toxicity tests conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

To incorporate the d2w additive, plastics suppliers add 1% of the additive by weight during manufacturing. This accounts for approximately 4% to 4.5% of the packaging cost. Symphony’s additive is already in commercial use, with companies in India utilizing it in various packaging materials. Plastics that include the d2w additive maintain the same mechanical and opaque properties as conventional plastics, allowing for recyclability; however, they are not suitable for composting.

Read the full article on Plastics Today.

It really is an incredible time in the packaging industry! Innovations like this additive are giving brands more and more options in their quest to develop sustainable solutions. Reducing plastic waste in our environment is a top priority, and the possibility of biodegradable plastic is a game-changer.

Are you ready to make a move to more sustainable packaging? There might be new breakthroughs available that you aren’t even aware of! Give AMGRAPH a call, and we’ll help you understand all your feasible alternatives.