How long will it take to degrade ?

It will depend on the thickness of the polythene and the conditions it is exposed to. If the polythene is not exposed to direct sunlight and kept away from heat you can expect a shelf life of a year or more. Once the polythene has been exposed to direct sunlight and/or heat it will trigger the degradation process which can take up to 4 months for the polythene to become completely brittle. Please see our DEG68 Info for more details.

How does it work ?

The addition to polythene of certain Organo-transition metal complexes will catalyse the auto-oxidation of polythene.

When was it invented ?

In 1974, Nykvist, at the Royal College of Forestry in Stockholm used polythene Labeled with Carbon 14 to show that after exposure to UV radiation and mixing with compost, evolution of Carbon 14 Dioxide took Place.

What is left once the polythene has degraded ?

It has been proven by scientific research that oxidised polyethylene will biodegrade, the ultimate degredation products being Carbon Dioxide, Water, and a small amount of inert mineral matter.

Can it be used for food contact ?

Yes. It complies with the EU directive 2002/72/EC and 2004/19/EC relating to plastic materials that come into contact with foodstuffs.

How does it differ in looks and feel different to normal polythene ?

DEG68 can be added to any product we manufacture. The look, feel and strength of the polythene remains the same. (If you have a large bundle of clear bags together or a roll of clear polythene with you will notice a brown tint, however this is not noticeable when the layers are separated)

Frequently asked questions...
www.degradable.org.uk