Biodegradeable Plastics

What are biodegradeable (bioplastics)?

Bioplastics comprise of a range of materials with different properties and applications which mirror the fossil based plastic. A nature plastic material is defined as a bioplastic if it is either biobased, biodegradable, or features both properties. Biobased plastics are derived from vegetable fats and oils, corn starch, straw, woodchips, sawdust, recycled food waste and agricultural by-products.

Biodegradation is a natural chemical process during which microorganisms that are available in the environment convert materials into natural substances such as water, carbon dioxide, and compost (artificial additives are not needed). The process of biodegradation depends on the surrounding environmental conditions (e.g. location or temperature), on the material and on the application.

Benefits of bioplastics

Bioplastics are driving the evolution of plastics. There are two major advantages of biobased plastic products compared to their conventional versions: they save fossil resources by using biomass which regenerates (annually) and provides the unique potential of carbon neutrality.

Recycled Plastics (Recover, Recycle, Reuse)

There are two trains of thought about recycling plastic. One is to recover 100%, use, recycle and reuse it again and again.

By recycling and re-using plastic items as many times as possible, we can optimize their lifespan and therefore reduce our need to create new plastic.

This means we can:

  • reduce the consumption of energy used in the production of new plastic
  • conserve non-renewable fossil fuels (oil)
  • reduce emission of gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
  • reduce the amount of plastic waste going to landfill

The other thought on recycling is to bury it and let it decompose in the ground. To achieve this additives are required and one of them being oxo. The current thinking on this is that it places harmful micro organisms into the soil that filter into the waterways and eventually the sea.

We understand there is a move afoot on the continent to ban the use of oxo. Oxo-biodegradable and enzyme degradable plastics cannot be considered as bioplastics as they are neither “biodegradable” nor “compostable” under any standard test procedures. These additives merely enhance the rate of degradation of a conventional plastic like PET or PE when disposed of after its useful life.

In the quest for reducing the cost and the amount of virgin plastic in packaging we have to look at coextruded process where they are two layers of virgin material either side of a core of recycled material (PCW). This material has registered collection points and certification so that it can be tracked back to its original point of manufacture. It tends to be a little cheaper than virgin LDPE but still retains all the strength properties

These materials reduce:

  • the consumption of fossil fuels (used to produce virgin grade PE)
  • the amount of plastic packaging going to landfill, filling our oceans, and polluting the environment.
  • the tax issue associated with single use packaging

PCW-V3V technology delivers the same mechanical properties as virgin grade PE because of the range in variety of recycled plastics used. Non-shrink films start at 30% but can contain up to 100% PCW polymers, and our shrink film can include an impressive 50% of PCW polymers without losing any of the functionality you would expect – whilst all still remaining 100% recyclable!

What does post-consumer waste mean?

Post-Consumer Waste is material that has served its intended purpose as a consumer item, and has then been separated from other material, which is to be disposed of. Post-Consumer Waste has completed its life cycle as a consumer item and can now be recycled and reused.

As part of its effort to tackle ongoing problems with litter and waste from single use plastic, the UK Government has announced that it intends to introduce new tax on plastic packaging that contains less than 30% recycled Post-Consumer Waste (PCW).

It is added to polythene to avoid the governent’s announcement of a pending tax on all virgin single use plastic. It also reduces the amount of virgin plastic being consumed

PE-LIGHT A Tough, Lightweight Polythene

PE-LIGHT is an extremely strong and lightweight co-extruded polythene material that offers a high degree of tear resistance and unrivalled dart impact in addition to the substantial saving against conventional polythene packaging films by uniquely blending the raw materials.

Using PE-LIGHT will deliver the same strength as a conventional film and can reduce the weight of your polythene consumption. The end effect can be up to 20% less plastic waste going into landfill systems and a considerable cost reduction to the client.

It will reduce your carbon footprint and the amount that is to be paid on the single use plastic tax.

PE-LIGHT Process

This product has all the strength and versatility required and is used across our full product range of pallet covers – plain or printed, top sheets, bags, pallet wrap and liners.

Contact our helpful sales personnel to find out how you can benefit from switching to PE-LIGHT, based on your current product specifications.

For a plastic film optimisation test send us a current sample of your regular polythene, including the specification and details of the required application. We will then advise you on the ideal PE-LIGHT film to ensure you have the best cost and environmental savings.

Pallet Covers & LinersPolythene Bags & sacksPolythene Film
Dolav Liners
Non Shrink Pallet Covers
Polythene Vehicle Liners
Pallet Top Sheets
Pallet Toppers for Wood/Plastic Pallets
Shrink Pallet Covers
Asbestos Removal Bags
Caddy Liners
Compostable Bags
Flame-Retardant Bags
Printed Polythene Bags
Polythene sacks
Damp Proof Membrane Sheets
Flame Retardant
Form Fill & Seal
Mailing Bags
Polythene Layflat Tubing

For a plastic film vs a greener equivalent cost comparison. Send us a current sample of your regular polythene, including the specification and details of the required application. We will then advise you on the ideal PE-LIGHT film to ensure you have the best cost and environmental savings.

Request your FREE ‘Plastic film vs a greener equivalent’ cost comparison by email or Phone.

Please fill in this form to request your free plastic optimisation test.

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