FAQ

ARE YOUR PRODUCTS TESTED BY INDEPENDENT LABS?

Yes!  We have a number of third party lab reports.  We typically use The Eden Research Laboratory – in New Mexico.

HOW DO YOU PROVIDE THE BARRIERS?

Oxygen and Moisture barriers are created by using;

Vacuum Metalizing, Medium & High Barrier- Bio-Foil, Ultra High Barrier Films or the inherent barriers of certain films when they are ” Fit for Use “. We strive to find the most economical solution for each customer’s needs.

ARE THE MATERIALS MADE FROM PETROLEUM OR RENEWABLE PRODUCTS?

These are petroleum based products engineered with the use of a completely organic additive to biodegrade only when exposed to the microbes in landfill, soil or water. They offer superior performance to other biodegradable technologies, are easier to use, less expensive, and have the added benefit of being completely recyclable, in single layers. For these reasons we firmly believe it is the most viable solution to the problems with plastic – today. For more information, check out The Truth About Plastic.

WHAT MAKES THEM BIODEGRADABLE?

The additive is a particular blend of Organic compounds, which in the presence of microbes, create an enzyme that breaks down the long-chain molecules of the plastic. This allows the microbes to then consume the plastic. After 10 years of testing, we can make just about any type of packaging Omnidegradable® – resealable pouches, zippered bags and even bags with off-gasing valves. For more information, check out The Truth About Plastic.

DO TEKPAK'S BIOFILMS COMPLY WITH ASTM STANDARDS FOR BIODEGRADABILITY?

Yes. We also comply with many other ASTM standards : 5338/98, 5290 / 91, 5511, CEN 261085, ISO 14855 and we are FDA and SCF ( E.U.) compliant.

DO YOU HAVE ANY EXAMPLES OF ESTABLISHED BRANDS THAT HAVE USED YOUR PLASTICS?

Yes. We have worked with a variety of large Coffee manufacturers such as Melitta.

ARE THERE ANY TOXIC REMAINS, ONCE THE PACKAGE HAS BIODEGRADED?

No. In Oceans, it ends up as CO2, water and a small amount of organic biomass. However, like all organic materials, in an Anaerobic Landfill, the CO2 is replaced with Methane which is being captured in many modern facilities.

ARE THE PRODUCTS CLEAN AND SAFE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?

Our products meet FDA (U.S.) and SCF (E.U.) standards and break down into organic residuals that are actually beneficial to plant growth. University studies over 6 years have shown there are no harmful effects on other crops or insects and less heavy metals than found in common soil and well below the allowable limits ste by the US – EPA ( environmental Protection Agency).

ARE OMNIDEGRADABLE (R) PRODUCTS COMPOSTABLE?

Our packaging is compostable in an Industrial Compost Facility using windrows only with no time constraints (except any non-Omnidegradable component, like a Tin Tie).

WHAT DOES YOUR OMNIDEGRADABLE ® PRODUCT DO?

Omnidegradble® Plastics allow regular plastic products to be able to consumed by microbes in soil, water, landfills, etc. in a very short time-frame, a fraction of the current plastics.

WHAT ARE THE KEY PROBLEMS IT IS DESIGNED TO SOLVE?

Regular plastics do not biodegrade or decompose for centuries and are clogging our oceans, landfills, sewers, to the point that they are affecting the health of our food resources and waterways.

HOW DOES YOUR PRODUCT DIFFER FROM OXO-BIODEGRADABLE PLASTICS, WHICH MANY SAY ARE IN FACT MAKING THE PLASTIC PROBLEM WORSE?

Oxo-Bio plastics were developed in the late 1960’s, in England, and were a great innovation then. A farmer could cover his furrows with a roll of Oxo-Bio plastic and it would direct water to the plants, keep out weeds and at the end of season, it would have enough sunlight to be churned into the soil and degrade. We now know it never biodegraded completely but just broke into smaller parts – like micro-beads.

When manufacturers started using it for packaging, stretch-wrap etc., without the exposure to sunlight, it just reacted to weathering like regular plastic.

Our products will completely and safely Biodegrade virtually anywhere there are microbes.

PLA HAS BEEN WIDELY USED BUT IS NOW UNDER SCRUTINY. WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND ?

A study on PLA films from cradle to grave was conducted by two US scientists and published in Scientific American magazine in August, 2000. It showed that PLA used 154 % more energy than regular PET due to the fact that someone had to grow the corn, harvest it, transport it to the processing plant and transform it into resin. When originally, it was said to be the better solution. It had poor barriers, high cost and sensitivity to heat in processing. We gave up on it in 2005.

HAVE YOU TRIED USING CELLOPHANE FILMS ?

Yes we did make pouches with the new improved Cello. The old version would become brittle and crumble after time on the shelf. Very expensive but the pouches we made were placed in my car to show a client 10 minutes away one summer. By the time I got there, they had shriveled into little golf balls. When you look into the maufacturing of Cellophane, you see it uses baths of Sulphuric Acid and another of Bleach to render the wood pulp down to lignin from which the cellophane is derived. This will eventually end up in our water.

OVER WHAT TIME PERIODS DOES YOUR PRODUCT DECOMPOSE IN LANDFILL AND IN THE OCEANS?

Independent Lab studies are completed or in progress. Each type of film, at each gauge, in each environment, will have a different result. Microbial intensity in each landfill or ocean will be different. A 48 ga. Polyester film will take approximately, 20 months in an Anaerobic Landfill as per lab simulation. A 300 ga. HDPE shampoo bottle took less than 2.5 years to completely biodegrade in typical garden soil. A 300 ga. LDPE has biodegraded 26% in 1.75 months in a lab simulated ocean environment. Each test costs approximately $10,000.00 so we have to be selective in what we send to the labs. To cover all the bases would cost $100,000,000.00.

WHAT ARE THE GREENHOUSE GAS IMPLICATIONS OF PLASTIC DECOMPOSITION USING YOUR PRODUCT?

There are great differences depending on the site of disposal. In an anaerobic landfill Methane is the primary gas emitted. It can be captured and used as a clean fuel source. Prince Charles had his Jaguar converted to run on Methane long ago. In an Ocean it will be sequestered in the water.

HOW WOULD YOUR PRODUCT COMPLEMENT EXISTING PLASTIC RECYCLING SCHEMES?

All of our single layer and multi layer plastics of the same base family of polymers can be safely recycled with other plastics in the same family. We use PE extrusion lamination and water-based lamination ( no solvents ).

Mixing Polyester and Polyethylene or Nylon or Polystyrene will result in a non-recyclable mix. That applies to all products. The difference with ours is, regardless of the mix they can always biodegrade where ever they end up.

Very few if any manufacturers can determine where or when their plastic products will end their useful lives.

They could end up anywhere on the planet. Very few countries have a waste collection, never mind recycling.

It will be several decades before the poorer countries can catch up. In the meantime, we continue to fill the oceans and landfills with plastic. ( 8 million tons/ year ). If it was all Omnidegradable, it would most likely be gone within a year or less.

I do not know of any other option currently available that can do all this and yet still maintain the shelf-life and barriers we need to protect our products’ freshness and prevent food waste.

Want to learn more about Biodegradable Plastic?

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