Scaled Management Systems

Biodegradable Additives Disappoint

In 2014 the School of Packaging, Michigan State University, evaluated the performance of 5 biodegradation-promoting additives to plastic drink bottles (PE & PET).

Additives for polymers are increasingly being used around the world with the claim that they effectively render commercial polymers biodegradable. The additives are meant to chemically cut the chain like molecules and increase their water solubility. None tested significantly increased biodegradability.

Under landfill or composting conditions the plastics may fracture and not be visible but it does not mean the compounds are biodegradable.

AS 4736-2006/Amdt 1-2009 Biodegradable Plastics – Biodegradable plastics suitable for composting and other microbial treatment

AS 5810-2010 Biodegradable Plastics – Biodegradable plastics suitable for home composting.
Michigan State University – School of Packaging

Compostable vs Biodegradable