Identification of Commercial Oxo-Biodegradable Plastics: Study of UV Induced Degradation in an Effort 1 to Combat Plastic Waste Accumulation

Journal article


Constantinou, A, Antelava, A, Bumajdad, A, Manos, G, Dewil, R and Al-Salem, S (2020). Identification of Commercial Oxo-Biodegradable Plastics: Study of UV Induced Degradation in an Effort 1 to Combat Plastic Waste Accumulation. Journal of Polymers and the Environment. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10924-020-01776-x
AuthorsConstantinou, A, Antelava, A, Bumajdad, A, Manos, G, Dewil, R and Al-Salem, S
Abstract

About 50% of plastics is discarded after only single use which creates major environmental burdens. End of life 14 single-use items such as carrier bags constitute a large proportion of the litter found in marine and terrestrial 15 environments alike. The main objective of the current work was to investigate the response of an oxo-16 biodegradable commercial plastic film product to photo-degradation using accelerated weathering, verifying the 17 claim of its biodegradability and suitability as an eco-friendly product. The test specimens used were white to 18 transparent commercial grade plastic bags of PE origin acquired from an international franchise of household 19 goods, which were claimed to be of oxo-biodegradable nature. This study is also geared towards the 20 appropriateness of such products to reduce plastic waste accumulation in urban environments. The film samples 21 were exposed to weathering up to 20 continuous days to determine their degradability and assess their thermal 22 properties as a means to determine impact of UV induced oxo-biodegradation. Haze (%), light transmission (%) 23 and the total change in colour (ΔE) were measured as indicators to the degradation profile of the polymeric 24 materials, in addition to tensile pull mechanical properties and thermal stability. The melting peak indicates the 25 melting point (Tm) of the polymer and with exposure to weathering it showed a slight decrease from 105 to 26 102oC indicating that biodegradation mechanism was triggered. The reduction is strain at rupture was also 27 indicative of a loss in crystalline structure, coupled with Young’s modulus increase throughout weathering 28 exposure tests.

KeywordsPlastic Film; Oxo-biodegradable,; Colour; Haze; TGA
Year2020
JournalJournal of Polymers and the Environment
PublisherSpringer
ISSN1566-2543
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/s10924-020-01776-x
Publication dates
Print04 Jun 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted28 May 2020
Deposited01 Jun 2020
Accepted author manuscript
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Open
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