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RSP is committed to offering clients a broad range of eco-conscious plastic choices to consider for creating their molded products. They include:

  • Oceanworks® Guaranteed products made with recycled ocean plastics
  • Hemp and other fibers mixed with virgin or recycled plastic
  • Recycled plastic from waste-stream collection
  • Biodegradable lab-tested additives that help accelerate decomposition.

Recycled plastics are not a new concept, but biodegradable additives are unfamiliar to many people. What are they, and how can they be used to make your products more earth-friendly?
Quite simply, biodegradable additives are organic substances that are mixed into plastic that activate in the presence of landfill-specific microbes and enzymes. They help break down the plastic when it has reached its end-of-life destination, a landfill, not before.

The additives do not alter the durability, strength and recyclability of the plastic, and they maintain the same look as the virgin material. These types of additives are effective with a large variety of plastics, including EVA, HDPE, PET, PP, nylon, PVC, PC and more!

If you’re thinking of incorporating these additives into your product, you will want to communicate these benefits to your customers. Without testing, it isn’t possible to know exactly how long it will take for your product to break down in a landfill.

Plastic designs vary, and products will decompose differently based on their material makeup and its thickness. And every landfill has varying solid content, temperature and moisture levels that affect the decomposition rate as well. It is possible to simply advertise the additive as an eco-conscious benefit without testing. However, in order to make any particular claims, products should be tested according to the ASTM D5511 test method. The price varies but starts at $2,000–$3,000 for a 30-day test.

Once your product is tested, a typical marketing claim might read something like this:

Best Bee Brothers quality products have been shown to biodegrade 17% in 59 weeks when tested using the ASTM D5511 test under conditions that simulate both wetter and biologically active landfills. The stated rate and extent of degradation do not mean that the product will necessarily continue to decompose or decompose completely.

California does not allow these types of claims to be made, and therefore you must include language on your packaging and website that includes “claims not valid in California.”
If you are considering a more eco-conscious approach to plastic molding, please call RSP to discuss your options and solutions with one of our experts.