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06 | 2010

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From Science and

From Science and Research Fig. 1. Photos of tested packaging and packaging materials Disintegration of Packaging Materials Samples 1 and 2 Biodegradability of packaging material is a primary condition needed for a packaging waste treatment in the composting process (organic recycling). At the same time, this same material must also disintegrate into small fragments in a relatively short time (180 days maximum) and in a way that doesn’t decrease the compost quality [1]. Evaluation of organic recycling potential of packaging Samples 3 and 4 In order to evaluate the disintegration potential of selected packaging by bacteria and fungi, Packaging and Environment department of the Polish Packaging Institute performed a standardised test. Types of tested packaging along with their material composition is listed on table 1 and shown in fig 1. Test methodology Samples 5 and 6 Preliminary evaluation of the disintegration of selected packaging materials was performed under simulated composting conditions according to the standard EN 14806 [2]. Table 2 presents the composition of organic waste used in the test. The organic waste composition is man-made and has been prepared in the laboratory in accordance with EN 14806. Table 1. Packaging used in tests. Samples 7 and 8 Samples 9 and 10 www. Sample Packaging Type Packaging Material 1. Shopping carrier bag Shopping carrier bags introduced on the Polish market by Carrefour, certified by DIN CERTCO 2. compostable mark 3. 4. Shopping carrier bag Polyethylene shopping carrier bag with several percent addition of chemical substance called TDPA (Totally Degradable Plastic Additive, an oxo-degradable additive by EPI) 5. Shopping carrier bag Biodegradable films produced by Bioerg Sp. z o.o. from Dabrowa Górnicza, certified by 6. DIN CERTCO compostable mark 7. Yogurt cup Polylactide (PLA) 8. 9. Rigid thermoformed film Polylactide (PLA) 10. 44 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/10] Vol. 5

Article contributed by Dr. Hanna Żakowska Head of Packaging R&D Department and MA Grzegorz Ganczewski Specialist Packaging and Environment Department Polish Packaging Institute, Warsaw, Poland Determination of the degree of disintegration has been performed in laboratory conditions similar to intensive oxygen composting process. Organic waste prepared for the test has been inoculated by compost received from composting plant. Packaging samples have been cut into fragments with fixed dimensions of 25x25 mm, and then mixed into the organic waste prepared in the laboratory. Samples were then composted in fixed temperature of 58°C for 3 months. After this time, obtained compost was sieved through 2mm sieve in order to collect material residues which did not disintegrate. Degree of disintegration is calculated by comparing the initial sample mass and the mass of dry residues recovered by sieving. The course of the test is illustrated on figures 2-8. Presented test method performed on the laboratory scale simulates the environmental conditions in industrial composting plants, and therefore behaviour of packaging materials can be preliminarily tested. Test results According to the EN 14806 standard, the packaging material recovered in the total fraction above 2mm is considered the not disintegrated fraction. The Table 2. Composition of organic solid waste prepared In laboratory conditions. organic waste ingredients Dry mass [%] Sawdust 40 Rabbit-feed 30 Compost 10 Starch 10 Saccharose 4 Cornseed oil 4 Urea 2 Total 100 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/10] Vol. 5 45

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