Degradable and Compostable Plastics | Oxo Biodegradable | PLA Plastic

What competitive products to ENSO plastics are currently on the market?

How do ENSO enhanced bottles compare with OXO Biodegradable and PLA Plastic?

What is an oxo-degradable and how does it work?

If an oxo-degradable breaks down from oxygen how does this affect the shelf life?

Isn’t Cobalt considered a heavy metal?

What is PLA Plastic (Poly-Lactic Acid) and how does it work?

What are PHB and PHA bioplastics?

What competitive products to ENSO Plastics are currently on the market?

Today there are essentially two other competitive products on the market: oxo-degradable and starch based PLA plastic (Poly-lactic Acid) products.

Oxo-degradable is an additive based technology which causes the bottle to fragment and degrade from light, heat, moisture and mechanical stress and can only be used in: Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Polystyrene and Polyethylene Terephthalate.

PLA plastic is a starched based replacement to traditional plastics and replaces; Polypropylene, Polyethylene, and Polyethylene Terephthalate.

In addition, there are a number of companies that claim to have additives similar to ENSO. Many of these companies are using oxo-degradable technologies, or are using organic additives that are untested, i.e. they use a 50% load rate and show 20% biodegradation, or they make broad claims that are completely unsubstantiated by valid test data.

Learn more about ENSO testing and validation.

How do ENSO enhanced bottles compare with OXO Biodegradable and PLA Plastic?

ENSO enhanced bottles are the first bottles on the market today with accelerated biodegradability that retain the ability recycle with traditional PET bottle. ENSO accelerates the natural biodegradation of plastics in biologically active landfills and anaerobic digesters as validated by independent certified laboratories using ASTM International test methods (ASTM D5526 & ASTM D5511).

This is unlike oxo-degradable and PLA plastics which should not be recycled with standard plastic and are not designed to biodegrade in modern landfills.

The development of ENSO technology marks a turning point from traditional PET bottles and provides a turn-key stable solution over starch-based, PLA plastic and oxo degradable products currently on the market.

Read more - ENSO Bottles vs Oxo biodegradable vs PLA Plastic.pdf

What is an oxo-degradable and how does it work?

An oxo-degradable technology puts cobalt (33 ppm), magnesium, and nickel into the polymer.

Through the ambient environment, the metal ions used in oxo-degradable additives are susceptible to light, heat, moisture and mechanical stress which weakens the tensile strength of the polymer chain causing the reduction of the polymer chain.  The end result of an oxo-degradable is that it can degrade into smaller and smaller pieces.

If an oxo-degradable breaks down from oxygen how does this affect the shelf life?

The earlier generations of oxo-degradable products had extremely short shelf-life due to the oxo-degradable additive beginning to react to the oxygen immediately after manufacturing.  This significantly reduced the shelf-life of any product utilizing oxo-degradable packaging.  To improve on this limitation oxo-degradable manufactures have begun to add in oxygen scavengers and ultra-violet light inhibitors.  These chemicals extend the shelf life by preventing the oxygen and UV light from being able to degrade the additive compounds.  Using this technique the product can be specifically engineered to have a specific shelf-life.  Once the oxygen scavenger and/or UV inhibitor has reached its useful life the product will be degrading.  There is some debate as to the potential impact of adding in these additional chemicals to extend the life of oxo-degradable products.

Isn’t Cobalt considered a heavy metal?

That really depends on where you are located in the world.  In Canada Cobalt is regarded as a regulated material.  In many countries around the world Cobalt is listed as either a heavy metal, a light metal or metal ion depending on which country you are in.

What is PLA Plastic (Poly-Lactic Acid) and how does it work?

Polylactic acid (PLA Plastic) is a polymer derived from starch based plants such as corn and potatoes. The corn kernels are milled and dextrose is extracted which is then allowed to ferment, producing lactic acid as a by-product. The base of PLA plastic is formed by linking polymers of lactic to create pellets similar to those that are created from petroleum refining.

PLA plastic is presumed to be biodegradable in commercial composting facilities - although the role of hydrolysis vs. enzymatic depolymerization in this process remains open to debate. Composting conditions are found only in industrial composting facilities where high temperature (above 140F), high relative humidity (RH), and 2/3 mixture of organic food based materials can be controlled in order to supply the correct amount of nutrients to promote chain hydrolysis. This is required to break down the polymer structure before microbial activity can break down the remaining material.

What are PHB and PHA bioplastics?

Polyhydroxyalkanoates or PHAs are linear polyesters produced in nature by bacterial fermentation of sugar or lipids. They are produced by the bacteria to store carbon and energy. More than 150 different monomers can be combined within this family to give materials with extremely different properties.  These plastics are biodegradable and are used in the production of bioplastics.

They can be either thermoplastic or elastomeric materials, with melting points ranging from 40 to 180 °C.
The mechanical and biocompatibility of PHA can also be changed by blending, modifying the surface or combining PHA with other polymers, enzymes and inorganic materials, making it possible for a wider range of applications.

Read more -

How do I contact ENSO Plastics for additional Information?

Contact Information:

866-936-3676 or



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