Consumer awareness of the negative effects of plastics has reached an all-time high. There is clear evidence on just how much single use plastics are polluting the environment.
Over the last decade, various alternatives to conventional plastics have been created. The shift towards more sustainable packaging has accelerated, and companies are scrambling to implement green initiatives.
This shift, however, has created a market for greenwashing practices. Various packaging materials claim to be good for the environment when, in fact, they are harmful to it. A prime example is oxo-degradable/oxo-biodegradable plastics.
In This Article:
What are Oxo-degradable Plastics?
Oxo-degradable/oxo-biodegradable plastics are often confused with regular biodegradable plastics. Oxo plastics are also confused with bioplastics or mentioned as a subclass of bioplastics. Both of these statements are inaccurate. Oxo degradable plastics are conventional plastics that have chemical additives. The additives are meant to mimic the biodegradation process.
Oxo-degradable plastics break into small pieces known as microplastics. They do not reach the molecular level that renders them harmless to the environment.
Oxo-degradable plastics are not a solution to help decrease land or sea pollution. Instead of going through biodegradation, they go through a fragmentation process. This produces small particles that contribute to the microplastic problem.
Australian Bioplastics Association (ABA)
The Australasian Bioplastics Association is the peak industry body for manufacturers, converters and distributors of bioplastic products and materials throughout Australia and New Zealand. They have to deal with misconceptions around oxo-degradable plastics and bioplastics.
The association supports and promotes:
- The growth and use of renewable raw materials in products and applications
- Innovation leading to the lower environmental impact of durable and non-durable plastic products
- Independent third party certification and product labelling based on the AS4736 standard, if biodegradability and compostability are claimed
- Independent third-party certifications product labelling for biobased polymer products
- The identification and evaluation of other eco-efficient and end-of-life options
The association works with the government, organic recyclers, composters, industry groups, non-government organisations, brand owners and converters to further the understanding and appropriate use of bioplastics. The ABA is dedicated to promoting plastics that are biodegradable, compostable and based on renewable resources.
The Association acts as a communication focal point for media, government, environmental organisations and the public, on issues relating to bioplastics.
ABA on Oxo-biodegradable Plastics
The following items are taken from their fact sheet regarding oxo-degradable/oxo-biodegradable plastics:
Sustainable Packaging Options by OF Packaging
Our recycled content packaging products can help businesses across Australia migrate to sustainability. We can make recycled films, bags, pouches, and cartons while retaining brand integrity. Our recycled content packaging materials are print-ready and highly customisable. This option is perfect for companies looking for eco-friendly premium product packs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Biodegradable, Compostable, and Oxo-degradable - What’s the difference?
Does OF Pack offer oxo-degradable plastics as packaging options?
OF Packaging has never agreed with the concept of oxo-degradable packaging. For clients looking for eco-friendly degradable options, we recommend compostable packaging. These materials have scientific data backing them up and certifications can be obtained.