Solid Waste & Recycling


Biodegradable plastic bags introduced with "controlled lifetime"

A Quebec-based company has introduced to the market a line of plastic bags that it says allow consumers to choose o...

A Quebec-based company has introduced to the market a line of plastic bags that it says allow consumers to choose over what period of time the bags will degrade. St. Hubert, Quebec based Omniplast Inc. describes itself as "a pioneer in manufacturing polyethylene bags in North America" and says that after an extensive test program it’s the first Canadian company ready to provide customers with "environmentally friendly plastic bags designed with a controlled lifetime."

The company writes: "According to the latest available statistics, more than four million tons of single-use plastic products are sent to Canadian landfills every year. This waste is expected to accumulate in the environment for decades, contrary to the principles of sustainable development.

"Omniplast, in partnership with Vancouver-based EPI Environmental Products Inc., has acquired the rights to apply the 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 company’s press release continues: "The degradation process, triggered by UV light, heat, moisture or stress, occurs at a rate tailored to the buyer’s requirements, breaking down over a period of months or years. Once the plastic begins to oxidize, it becomes brittle and susceptible to the usual agents of degradation, such as moisture and microbes."

"We have many clients we can offer this process that will let them control the life cycle 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."

Less than ten per cent of plastic bags end up in the recycling chain, the rest is disposed in landfills or in the streets accumulating as litter. Plastic bag products incorporating the controlled lifetime additive begin to degrade over a pre-determined period and ultimately biodegrade leaving no toxic or harmful residue in the environment. Large 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.

"We are proud to be the first Canadian manufacturer to provide a 100 per cent biodegradable plastic bag," says Robitaille. "We will continue to strive to be a pioneer in our industry providing innovative products to our customers."

About Omniplast

Omniplast Inc., an innovative Canadian supplier of flexible packaging products, manufactures polyethylene bags, envelops, shrink film and roll stock. It also supplies folding cartons; paper bags; tissue paper; gift-wrap; and garment bags. The company manufactures more than 500 million plastic bags a year for customers that include major North American specialty apparel, gift, wine and spirits and cosmetic retail chains; retail packaging distributors and paper merchants; commercial, promotional and industrial facilities; and local, regional and national institutions or government agencies.

For more information, contact:

Laird Greenshields
Morin Public Relations
Telephone: 514-289-8688

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