Solid Waste & Recycling

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Plastic Bags Offer "Controlled Lifetime"

A company based in St. Hubert, Quebec announced in mid-November a new line of plastic bags that degrade at different rates, depending on the preference of the customer.


A company based in St. Hubert, Quebec announced in mid-November a new line of plastic bags that degrade at different rates, depending on the preference of the customer.

Omniplast Inc., a manufacturer of polyethylene bags, says it has completed a test program on plastic bags designed with a “controlled lifetime.”

According to the company, more than four million tonnes of single-use plastic products are sent to Canadian landfills every year where they accumulate. Less than ten per cent of plastic bags end up in the recycling chain; the rest are disposed in landfills or end up as litter. To help counter this, Omniplast, in partnership with Vancouver-based EPI Environmental Products Inc., has acquired the rights to apply so-called Totally Degradable Plastic Additives (TDPA) technology in the manufacturing process of its poly bags. Plastic bags will degrade in as little time as a few months to five years when discarded as the additive accelerates the oxidation of the plastic.

The degradation process, triggered by UV light, heat, moisture or stress, occurs at a rate tailored to the buyer’s requirements, says the company. Once the plastic begins to oxidize, it becomes brittle and susceptible to the agents of degradation, such as moisture and microbes.

“We have many clients we can offer this process that will let them control the lifecycle of their plastic bags,” says Omniplast President Marc Robitaille. “Our customers can promote their corporate image through distinctive and creative designs using the most appropriate choice of biodegradable plastic packaging products that are recognized as environmentally friendly.”

Corporations such as Safeway, Tresco and Wal-Mart have successfully completed a two-year test using biodegradable plastic bags using TDPA in their European operations, says the company.

Omniplast is a Canadian supplier of various fibre-based flexible packaging products and manufactures polyethylene bags, envelops, shrink film and roll stock. The company manufactures more than 500 million plastic bags a year.

For more information contact Marc Robitaille, president of Omniplast Inc. in St. Hubert, Quebec. Contact Marc at marc.robitaille@omniplast.com


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