Queen Mary University, London- Publishes positive Study on Biodegradable Plastics

Symphony Environmental are very pleased to see the publication of a new scientific study into oxo-biodegradable plastics. This important study by Queen Mary University London (“QMUL”) adds further weight to the four decades of scientific research which proves that plastic products containing a d2w type masterbatch will become biodegradable much more quickly than ordinary plastic if they get into the open environment at the end of their useful life, and will then be biodegraded by bacteria commonly found in soil and in the marine environment.

This recently released  QMUL study https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/719476v2 ( pdf version ) was conducted by Dr Rose, R., Richardson, K., Latvanen, E., Hanson, C. and Sanders, I.

QMUL developed a new scientific approach to the assessment of biodegradability of plastics by monitoring bacterial respiration in aqueous media, with plastic as the sole source of carbon.

The main findings were that:

  • Oxo-Biodegradable plastic demonstrated up to 90 times more biodegradation than conventional plastic, when aged for the same period of time.
  • The degraded material was biodegraded by bacteria found in soil and marine environments.
  • Molecular-weight reduction is a critical factor in the rate and extent of biodegradation, showing that biodegradability increases as molecular-weight reduces.
  • The use of a prodegradant catalyst such as that in a d2w masterbatch, caused a rapid reduction of molecular-weight.
  • The plastic samples tested for biodegradation were abiotically degraded under both real life and laboratory conditions.

As expected, unexposed oxo-biodegradable plastic showed no significant biodegradation because there had been no reduction in molecular-weight, demonstrating that oxo-biodegradable products are stable in storage conditions.

Michael Laurier, CEO of Symphony, said: “It will be many years before plastic litter is reduced to zero even in Europe, and until then everyday plastic products need to be urgently upgraded at manufacture, using Symphony’s scientifically-proven d2w technology.  This will confer an enormous environmental benefit by making sure that the product will not lie or float around for decades but will instead be recycled back into nature much more quickly by bacteria.

We have never been in any doubt about the efficacy of our technology, as one of the originators of the technology, Professor Gerald Scott, was our scientific adviser, but in November 2018 we asked a former Deputy High Court Judge to review all the scientific evidence for and against, and he confirmed our understanding.

See https://www.symphonyenvironmental.com/resource/uk-judge-finds-the-case-for-oxo-biodegradable-plastic-proven/  This latest report from QMUL is further confirmation of his findings.

Scientifically-proven biodegradable technology