By Supun Dias
In the aftermath of the decision by the government to ban the use of polythene lunch sheets, rigifoam boxes and shopping bags, with effect from the beginning of this month, New Nawaloka Trading is introducing oxo-biodegradable (OBD) additives so that they could convert long-life polyolefin plastic bags to degrade after a pre-programmed lifespan of complete mechanical integrity.
Therefore, it is an optimum approach to the environmental pollution and its consequences, according to its manufacturer, EnerPlastics – a company based in the UAE.
New Nawaloka Trading CEO V. Ganesh said that the relationship with EnerPlastics is over two decades and the innovative products introduced to the Sri Lankan market have always been recognized by many of their customers over the years.
EnerPlastics OBD additive masterbatches are introduced to plastic films at the manufacturing stage; the additives are dosed at very low level, which ensures that the commercial product (film) would have a guaranteed mechanical strength and other properties for a minimum period (usually 12 months) after manufacturing.
At an event held at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel to introduce this product, EnerPlastics Research Specialist Rashad Hasnain said, “We believe that the timing is very important because this will help our stakeholders to overcome the challenges faced due to the present crisis. If you take the global record, more than 230 million tonnes of plastic are produced for a year but only 7 percent is recycled out of that. OBD will make sure that the process is faster when it comes to decomposition.”
“If you take the mechanism of polyethylene biodegradation known as oxo-biodegradation, it is involved in two stages. These are: abiotic (photo or thermo) oxidation and microbial biodegradation,” he added.
“Initial abiotic oxidation is an important stage as it determines the rate of the entire process. In this stage, polyethylene is oxidized leading to reduction of its molecular weight significantly. The main factors that influence abiotic oxidation are heat and sunlight. They are crucial for both reduction of molecular weight and the production of low molecular weight compounds that can be assimilated easily by the microorganisms. The organometallic constituents act as a catalyst in oxidizing the polymer molecule to a state where it is converted as food to soil microbes, fungi, bacteria,” he noted.
EnerPlastics OBD can be used for all applications in which conventional polyolefins are suitable. EnerPlastics is an excellent one-stop shop with the other colour and additive masterbatches available. EnerPlastics CEO Akther Aman and EnerPlastics Sales Manager were also present at the event.