Oxo-Biodegradable Plastic Offers Sustainable Solution To Mounting Plastic Waste In India
HPL Additives Limited, a market leader in the plastic industry of polymer additives in India has this week forged a path-breaking strategic alliance to diminish large-scale plastic waste, with EPI Environmental Technologies Inc., of Canada, a global supplier of additives for oxo-biodegradable plastic applications. This agreement will enable HPL Additives to manufacture totally degradable plastic with EPI’s Totally Degradable Plastic Additive in India.
New Delhi, Delhi, August 16, 2016 /India PRwire/ — HPL Additives Limited, a market leader in the plastic industry of polymer additives in India has this week forged a path-breaking strategic alliance to diminish large-scale plastic waste, with EPI Environmental Technologies Inc., of Canada, a global supplier of additives for oxo-biodegradable plastic applications. This agreement will enable HPL Additives to manufacture totally degradable plastic with EPI’s Totally Degradable Plastic Additive (TDPATM) in India. This also makes HPL Additives the sole licensee to manufacture oxo-biodegradable plastics for the first time in India at their manufacturing unit in Haryana.
HPL Additives Limited is a prominent name in the global market for Polymer Additives. It is not only a significant player domestically with a market share of over 75% but is also a prominent player in the international industry with exports to more than 49 countries worldwide.
According to Mr. Umesh Anand, Joint Managing Director, HPL Additives, “We see our strategic alliance with EPI Environmental Technologies Inc. as a win-win situation for all. Oxo-biodegradable plastics will be an enormous game changer towards plastic waste management in India. With ever increasing population and urbanization, waste management has emerged as a growing challenge for the country. Plastic waste alone accounts for 5.6 million tons on an annual basis. The scientific disposal of solid waste through segregation, collection and treatment and disposal in an environmentally sound manner is the need of the hour. The Government of India is committed to and aims to achieve Swachh Bharat by 2019. Able management of plastic waste via the oxo-biodegradable process can be a large contributor towards providing relief from pollution and contamination in our environment.”
In the progress of delivering environmentally friendly plastic, Oxo-Bio-Degradation is the latest, forward-looking innovation with a two-step process whereby the conventional polyolefin plastic is first oxo-degraded to short-chain oxygenated molecules, and then biodegraded by micro-organisms (Bacteria, Fungi, etc.). The main difference between ‘oxo-biodegradable’ plastic and other plastic is the presence of an oxo-formulated additive in concentrations of 1-3% (metal salts) within the petroleum based plastic. This additive allows the plastics to degrade in the presence of oxygen, light, heat and moisture. Oxo-biodegradable plastic is designed to degrade in the open environment.
The World Oxo-Biodegradable Plastics Association reports that its 1,600 members in 63 countries worldwide are seeing increased sales year on year, with applications in agriculture and horticulture seeing the biggest increase, as new markets emerge and companies and different governments recognize that oxo-biodegradable plastic addresses the much needed environmental concerns. According to studies, the global plastic additives market is predicted to generate revenue of $57.8 billion by 2020. This growth is driven by more and more countries legislating for the use of oxo-biodegradable technology. As an innovation, it is sought out by responsible companies and governments keen to find the most practical solutions to their environmental footprints. Oxo-biodegradable plastic degrades in the presence of oxygen, and the process is accelerated by UV and heat. These standards require the material to convert to CO2 gas within 180 days or less. Oxo-biodegradable plastic performs exactly the same function as conventional plastics but will not remain an environmental nuisance for future generations. Oxo-biodegradable plastic is tested according to ASTM D6954 or BS 8472 to prove that it degrades and biodegrades without becoming toxic. Further, it can be programmed to degrade in whatever approximate timescale is desired.
As the global pioneer in the oxo-biodegradable plastic technology revolution, EPI’s TDPATM can be incorporated at manufacturing level into a wide range of single use plastic products such as carry-bags, garbage bags, produce bags, BOPP films, food containers made from PE, PP, Plastic Sheets, or PS, and organically convert them into a biodegradable material at the end of their useful life. In the agriculture sector too, farmers using oxo-biodegradable plastic sheets, do not anymore have to remove and dispose of tons of contaminated plastic after the harvest. EPI’s vision of reducing plastic pollution has always been a global one and the incorporation of their latest technology in a large nation like India is a gratifying reward of that goal.
Mr. Joseph Gho, EPI President and CEO states, “We are pleased with the strategic alliance with HPL to incorporate EPI’s oxo-biodegradable plastic technology in India. EPI is committed to achieving sustainable and environmentally-friendly means of utilizing plastic products while keeping the process cost effective. Furthermore, our unparalleled record for innovation, underpinned by rigorous scientific validation of our technology, places EPI at the forefront of the degradable plastics industry. Our commitment to disseminating oxo-biodegradable plastic technology globally remains undiminished, and this tie-up with HPL is a giant stride in that direction.”
Today, life without plastics is difficult to imagine, since a complete ban on the use of plastics will cause major impediments to majority of human amenities. With the only alternative being paper, it is not feasible due to the real danger of mass deforestation. Hence, advanced, sustainable technology in the manufacture of plastic is the way ahead. According to Dr. Ramani Narayan, an international expert on Biodegradability and a professor of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science at the Michigan State University, “When plastic is combined with an oxo-biodegradable proprietary application method used to produce films, bags, etc., this product, when discarded in soil in the presence of micro-organisms, moisture and oxygen, completely biodegrades decomposing into simple material found in nature leaving no residue or harmful toxins.” (Source:bpiworld.org)
Some of the countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East have after carefully considering the effectiveness and safety of oxo-biodegradable technology, legislated for this as the only sensible and sustainable solution to the growing problem of plastic litter and pollution.