There is no change in the properties of d2w plastic products. For all practical purposes the degradable alternative is indistinguishable from the non-degradable. Strength, clarity, sealability, printing properties, gas and moisture impermeability, for example, are all the same as their non-degradable alternatives during the useful life of the product. There is also no need to change any features or practices involved in the standard plastics manufacturing processes - output is unaffected.
It is impossible without technical equipment to distinguish newly made degradable plastics from their non-degradable counterparts, and the use of the d2w droplet logo on the finished product is authorised in order to distinguish those which have been made as Controlled-life products.
Many high-value cosmetics and other products are sold in plastic bottles, jars, and other plastic containers, and often these empty containers are collected and refilled with an inferior product and sold as the genuine article. Manufacturers of high-value products are now demanding d2w containers which will degrade at the surface soon after use and will therefore make counterfeiting more difficult.
Adjustable Product Life.
The useful life of d2w Controlled-life products is 'programmed' at the time of manufacture and typically includes some margin for flexibility. For example, a refuse sack might require a useful life of say 18 months before beginning to lose its strength whereas a bread-wrapper might only require a few weeks. A number of factors can accelerate degradation, such as sunlight, heat and stress (stretching and tearing) and, whilst the process of degradation cannot be stopped if oxygen is present, it can be considerably delayed by chilling or freezing. Appropriate - but not special - storage conditions and stock rotation are all that is needed.
Significantly, d2w plastic does not need a biologically active environment to start degrading - this will happen even if the plastic is left in the open air! This is very important if we are to address the serious litter problems caused by waste plastic. For this reason among many, d2w Controlled-life Plastic is superior to "compostable" which requires the plastic to be in a biologically active environment before the degradation process can proceed.
d2w plastics can be engineered to start to degrade in as little as 60 days or as long as 5 - 6 years. This is achieved by using different formulations of the additive depending on the particular product specification, geography, and application demands. The actual speed of degradation will be affected by the levels of heat, light and stress to which it is subjected.
d2w plastics will degrade harmlessly, ultimately leaving only H2O, CO2 and biomass in negligible quantities. Tests have proved the materials to be safe for direct food contact and to have no harmful effect whatsoever when they ultimately degrade.
d2w Controlled-life Plastic is not designed to degrade deep in landfill, because degradation deep in landfill is not desirable. If it is disposed of in landfill after its useful-life it will degrade in the upper layers where oxygen is present, but will become completely inert deeper in the landfill where conditions are anaerobic. By comparison "compostable" crop-based plastics will emit methane, which is a greenhouse gas 23 times more powerful than CO2.
Comprehensively tested and proven
A wide range of independent tests have been undertaken, and quality-control testing and improvements are ongoing.