The Global Eco Crisis
Plastics are carbon-based polymers which are made mostly from petroleum. Plastics are incredibly versatile and have come into mass usage over the last century since its initial conception. It’s thought that there is more than five trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans, some of which can take up to 500 years to break down naturally in the environment. Each year, 400 million tonnes of plastic is produced and 40% of that is single-use plastics, which we will use only once. 8 million tonnes of this will find its way into the ocean, affecting the natural habitat of marine and land life.
Experts believe that by 2050, the amount of plastic in the ocean will weigh more than the amount of fish in the ocean. One in three sea turtles, and around 90% of seabirds, have eaten plastic and as they are unable to digest it, their stomachs can become full, meaning they don’t have room for actual food. As a consequence, this means that 100,000 animals in the sea are killed by plastic every year.
We’re literally drowning in plastic that we are unable to get rid of. And we’re making most of it from oil—a resource that is becoming increasingly expensive. It’s been estimated that 200,000 barrels of oil are used each day to make plastic packaging for the United States alone.
New environment policies and government regulation means that there is a societal push to trigger awareness and solutions to combat the plastic crisis. Many believe bio-degradable plastics to be a viable solution to ease the transition to zero plastics but prevent the harmful and lasting damage being caused to our planet. The theory behind bio-plastics is simple: if we could make plastics from kinder chemicals to start with, they’d break down more quickly after they have served their purpose. Bio-plastics are touted as saving 30–80 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions you’d get from normal plastics and they can give food longer shelf-life in stores. Another good thing about bio-plastics is that they’re generally compostable: they decay into natural materials that blend harmlessly with soil. Some bio-plastics can break down in a matter of weeks.
Our range of biodegradable seals have been developed to offer a solution for environmentally conscious companies who have a seals necessity for business operations. One of the main advantages to our Biodegradable Security Seals is that they are biologically broken down into their base compounds within a reasonably short time frame. Biodegradable material will be tested under: ASTM 5511 – This measures bio-degradation in anaerobic conditions prevalent in landfill environments.
The JW Products Bio-Seal range provides many environmental benefits which includes:
- Effective biodegradation verified with ASTM D5511, ISO DIS 15985, ASTM D5526 & ASTM D5338
- Highly stable during shelf life & service life.
- Does not degrade to fragments after manufacturing.
- Compatible in recycling and nontoxic to the environment.
You can view our range of eco-friendly and bio-degradable seals by clicking here.
ASTM 5511 - The Bio Standard
Standard Test Method for Determining Anaerobic Biodegradation* of Plastic Materials Under High-Solids Anaerobic-Digestion Conditions
Significance and Use (This test method is equivalent to ISO 15985):
5.1 Biodegradation of a plastic within a high-solids anaerobic digestion
5.1 Biodegradation of a plastic within a high-solids anaerobic digestion unit is an important phenomenon because it will affect the decomposition of other waste materials enclosed by the plastic and the resulting quality and appearance of the digestate after an anaerobic digestion process. Biodegradation of plastics could allow for the safe disposal of these plastics through aerobic and anaerobic solid-waste-treatment plants. This procedure has been developed to permit the determination of the rate and degree of anaerobic biodegradability of plastic products when placed in a high-solids anaerobic digester for the production of digestate from municipal solid waste.
5.2 Limitations—Because there is a wide variation in the construction and operation of anaerobic-digestion systems and because regulatory requirements for composting systems vary, this procedure is not intended to simulate the environment of any particular high-solids anaerobic-digestion system. However, it is expected to resemble the environment of a high-solids anaerobic-digestion process operated under optimum conditions. More specifically, the procedure is intended to create a standard laboratory environment that will permit a rapid and reproducible determination of the anaerobic biodegradability under high-solids digestion conditions.