Evaluation of biodegradability of plastics bags in composting conditions

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Abstract

Biodegradation of plastics bags advertised as 100%-degradable or certified as compostable was tested in composting conditions. Samples were placed into frames and inserted into one clamp within the compost pile to investigate the biodegradation. The plastics bags were obtained from chain stores in the Czech Republic and Poland. The shopping bags were made of HDPE with the TDPA additive (sample 2), PP with an addition of pro-oxidants (d2w) (samples 1, 3) and materials certified as compostable (starch, polycaprolactone) (samples 4, 5, 6, 7). Control sample (cellulose filtering paper, sample 8) was to check the potential of biological decomposition in the tested environment. At the end of the 12-week experimental period it was found that the polyethylene samples with the additive (samples 1, 2, 3) had not been decomposed, their colour had not changed and that no degradation neither physical changes had occurred (did not biodegrade). Samples certified as compostable (samples 4, 5, 6, 7) were decomposed. The results at the municipal compost facility demonstrate that the compostable plastics biodegrade and polyethylene samples with the additive did not biodegrade in compost.

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Ecological Chemistry and Engineering S

The Journal of Society of Ecological Chemistry and Engineering

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