Author Archives: ENSO Plastics

About ENSO Plastics

ENSO Plastics | Your plastic made better! Visit us at

Go Green America TV with Jeff Davis

Talking Green with the “Go Green Guy” Jeff Davis

ENSO Plastics recently had the opportunity to talk about some green topics with the “Go Green Guy”, Jeff Davis from Go Green America TV .  As someone who is out there trying to educate and encourage people to live, and go green, we wanted to reach out to Jeff and see what his thoughts were on some topics that are relevant right now in our industry and field. ENSO Plastics shares a common goal with people like Jeff in that we want people to make the best decisions when it comes to environmental choices. We started off by just learning a little bit more about how Jeff got started in the “Go Green” movement:

Q: There are a lot of different reasons people get into the “Green Movement”, what motivated you to start your program,”Go Green America TV“?

Jeff: I was interested in finding some information for myself and my family. When I started searching for info on Green Living it just seemed so overwhelming. I thought there must be a better way to spread the word. So I started tweeting and blogging and before you know it “Go Green America TV” was born.

Q: That’s really great that something that started off as a personal goal turned into a much larger scale project of educating and providing information to others as to how they can go green as well. Now that your there, what is your goal with Go Green America? If there was something you could specifically achieve or a moment that would occur where you would sit back and say, “Man I’ve done it!”, what would that moment be or look like?

Jeff: My ultimate goal is to get “Go Green America TV” on television where I could reach millions. Daily I get interesting feedback from readers about how they enjoy what I am doing, for me that is it, knowing that I can effect people just by sharing what I learn, passing along information in such a way that it may just change they way people live their lives. I am not sure what the defining moment would be, but the little moments along the way will keep me going.

Q: Well we hope that you can achieve that goal! In regards to being on TV or how you run your program right now, you bring a lot of information to the table with your site and TV Channel, what is the biggest hurdle in trying to educate the public about green topics? What is the best way to go about getting the information to people?

Jeff: I think the biggest hurdle is finding an approach that people will actually take the time to listen to. There is so much Green washing out there that people are a little put off by the whole Green Living movement. I try to experience it with them, learn together and not be too much in your face. I want people to know that even the littlest things that we all do, make a difference.

I feel the best way to reach people is with video and I am in the process of finally getting that aspect of GGATV going.

Q: It is tough with the amount of Green Washing that has occurred, to keep people in the game and not be put off. One item of interest is plastic, and plastic usage is always a big deal, in packaging and with recycling, what is your overall impression of the environmental impact of plastics?

Jeff: It (plastic) has been a part of our lives for such a long time now it is difficult to just get rid of it. Recycling seems to be a key component in dealing with plastic but I still feel that the ultimate goal would be to reduce it’s use as much as possible. The trash factor, the landfill factor, the non biodegradable factor they all are a part of it, but sometimes we forget that plastics are petroleum based, love to see petroleum use cut when ever possible.

Q: There are a lot of factors involved in plastics, and specifically with plastic right now there is a lot of attention on plastic bags, specifically single use plastic bags, what is your take on it, what is the real solution, or is there one?

Jeff: I like the ban myself. I am not sure if it is the solution but I like it. Of all the single use items out there the plastic bag is the most widely used, the one that seems to get attention because it is easy to educate people on using reusable bags. People do tend to reuse plastic bags, but just for trash and they still end up in the trash can, they are one of the least likely items to be recycled.

Q: I agree with you in that I am also not sure it is the solution. It will be some time before we learn what kind of positive or negative impact the bag bans have. When you talk about ideas like using reusable bags, do you think we are we doing enough as people to go green? Even you personally do you feel there is always more and more you can do to be green but find difficulty in achieving all those goals?

Jeff: Are we doing enough? As long as we can get everyone to at least be conscious of there actions, hopefully it will be a cause and effect where they will make changes on there own. I think education is key, the more we understand why to live Green, the more people will make an effort. I myself know that I could always do more and I am striving to do so. It is a journey one step at a time, we just need to get as many people to start that journey as possible and the small steps will really make a difference

Q: On a global level there is a push to “Go Green”, even the Olympics this time around is trying to be as green as possible, and there is a lot of pressure for companies and brands to have “Green Initiatives”. From a global perspective what countries are really taking a lead with this, is the US in the lead?

Jeff: Globally I think that we are beginners when it comes to the environment. We’ve been the Global leaders in convenience, which is not a good thing. We have for the most part, become an unhealthy and somewhat lazy society. From what I can tell, England and many other European countries as well as Australia and Canada could teach us a lot about being environmentally responsible. I do think that we are finally catching on and hopefully catching up. We are finally educating people and a big part of that is just doing what we are doing right here, talking about it, sharing information, explaining why it is important.

We dropped the ball when Jimmy Carter tried to kick start the country down the right path and it wasn’t even called Green Living then. Solar panels, bio fuels, electric vehicles, we pushed them all aside and now we have to play catch up. I think we can do it!

I think we can too, and I think you have touched on something very important here. What really catches my attention here is when you said earlier, “the more we understand why to live Green, the more people will make an effort”. A lot of the time when I see a how to live green topic, blog or video it is simply that. It is at a high consumer level and sometimes it is effective and sometimes it is not. If though, we started focusing more on the “why” along with the “how” then I think more people would understand the importance of what it really means to “live” or “Go Green”.

Q: Thanks for your time Jeff, and we look forward to hearing from you in the future!

Jeff: It was a pleasure, thank you for taking the opportunity!


To learn more about Jeff Davis and his “Go Green America TV” make sure you visit his site, and follow Jeff on twitter !



Compostable Products Go Straight To Landfill

In Marin, Many Compostable Materials Go Straight to Landfill

Despite proliferation of biodegradable foodware, those products aren’t being composted at the two waste management facilities in Marin. As a result, people’s choices might not be as eco-friendly as they think.

Greenwood School 8th grader Leyla Spositto and her classmates knew something was amiss just a few weeks into the school year when they saw the trash piling up.

Greenwood administrators had chosen San Ramon, Calif.-based Choicelunch as the school’s new lunch provider largely because nearly all of its packaging was made of compostable materials – from corn-based bio-plastic cups to potato-based “spudware” forks and spoons – and therefore would be diverted from the landfill. The move fit with one of the school’s core values of environmental stewardship.

But when Greenwood environmental science teacher Julie Hanft told the students that so-called bio-plastics weren’t being composted in Marin, Greenwood’s 7th and 8th graders, who handle the school’s trash as part of their after-school chores, were stunned.

“All of the stuff from Choicelunch was going to the trash,” Spositto said. “We were very surprised that a system didn’t exist for the packaging to be composted like it was supposed to be.”

So was Greenwood School Director Debra Lambrecht.

“We were very, very surprised,” Lambrecht said. “And the fact that the children were shocked and appalled? We thought, ‘Well right on.’”

With lots of packaging that could neither be composted nor recycled – bio-plastics can’t be recycled like regular plastic – the students and Hanft arranged to have a large collection of their Choicelunch packaging taken to Recology near Candlestick Park in San Francisco, where bio-plastics are composted. But they quickly realized that having a parent or teacher drive a truck across the Golden Gate Bridge weekly wasn’t exactly a sustainable solution.

Greenwood’s students and school administrators found themselves at the crossroads of an issue that all involved say is riddled with complexities. As a result, many Marin residents who think they’re making eco-friendly decisions – buying only compostable plastic cups for their children’s birthday party, for example – are sending more garbage to the landfill than if they were using recyclable materials.

“That’s the big shame about bio-plastics – people think they’re doing the right thing,” said Jessica Jones, the district manager for Redwood Landfill and Recycling Center in Novato, where most of the trash, recycling and compost from northern and southern Marin is taken.

Jones said Redwood, a subsidiary of Waste Management Inc., doesn’t compost bio-plastics because the compost the company produces is sold to and used on organic farms. If its compost contained any materials that took longer to biodegrade – like corn-based foodware or bio bags, for instance – it could not be certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute, the Eugene, Ore., which provides independent review of products to be used in organic farming.

Jim Iavarone, managing director at Mill Valley Refuse, which sends all of its waste to Redwood, said the inability to compost bio-plastics “has been a continual issue for us” ever since the company rolled out compost service in August 2010.

“The makers of these products and food services (like ChoiceLunch) have hung their hat on that,” Iavarone said. “It’s a good idea that just isn’t delivering as hoped or as advertised.”

Devi Peri, the education coordinator for Marin Sanitary Service, which serves most of Central Marin, including San Rafael, Larspur, Corte Madera, San Anselmo, Fairfax and the Ross Valley and Las Gallinas sanitary districts, says her company is in the same boat as Redwood.

“Not all compostable plastics are created equal and we don’t even have any way to see if it’s a true biodegradable plastic,” she said.

But compostable bio-plastics are accepted by other Bay Area waste companies like Recology, which processes most of its OMRI-certified compost at Jepson Prairie Organics, a facility in Vacaville.

“There is a clear disconnect between how Recology can compost bio-plastics and how we can’t,” Jones said.

The difference, according to OMRO Program Director Lindsay Fernandez-Salvador, is that Recology has an extensive “foreign removal program.” That program, essentially a filtering system, calls for manual removal of any all bio-plastic products not clearly labeled compostable. Under California law, products labeled compostable must meet the Biodegradable Products Institute’s ASTM D6400 standards, which “determine if plastics and products made from plastics will compost satisfactorily, including biodegrading at a rate comparable to known compostable materials.”

“Any compost may become contaminated with compostable plastics, but if the program has a reasonably robust foreign removal program, that satisfies OMRI’s requirements,” Fernandez-Salvador said.

A foreign removal program means that bio-plastics that aren’t labeled clearly or don’t meet the standards either end up in a separate compost stream of only products that will degrade at a slower rate than food scraps or yard waste – or they’re tossed into the landfill.

Peri said there is some industry skepticism about how much bio-plastic material is actually ending up in the compost streams at places like Recology.

“I have a feeling that it might be more (going to the landfill) than people might want to hear,” Peri said. “And maybe more than they are reporting.”

Jack Macy, the Zero Waste Coordinator for the city of San Francisco, acknowledged that some “compostable stuff that is not labeled well ends up in the landfill.”

“But the reason that we accept compostable bags and compostable foodware is that it allows us to capture more of the organics that we’re trying to divert from the landfill,” Macy added. “Every composter would prefer not to take that stuff because of the challenges of identification and the breaking down aspect. It’s easier to say no.”

That’s the choice Redwood has made, which spurred Greenwood’s 7th and 8th graders to take on the issue as a community action project. The students researched other options, spoke with potential vendors and made a presentation to Lambrecht right before the holiday break. The school intends to move to a completely independent lunch system next year, with an in-house chef making lunches dispensed with reusable plates and utensils. The move is one that only schools as small as Greenwood, with just 127 students, can afford to make.

In the meantime, Greenwood administrators have decided to dump Choicelunch and explore alternative options for the rest of this year.

“It is very disappointing,” said Karen Heller, the director of business development for Choicelunch, whose company supplies lunches for more than a dozen schools in Marin, including the Mill Valley and Ross Valley school districts. “But it hinges on the waste management company. Our hands are kind of tied.”

For two days a week, the school’s 8th graders will be selling lunch from Grilly’s and Tamalpie Pizzeria (one day apiece) to raise money for their 10-day spring trip. Lambrecht hopes to have a new deal in place in the coming days for the other days.

“We’ve really felt like we’ve accomplished something,” Spositto said of the student’s campaign. “We’re glad we had the authority to make this happen.”

ecoenthusiast Makes Valentine’s Day Green!

We all want to do our best to live green and make the world a cleaner place. When it comes to holidays though, I don’t always think about what is the greenest way to make the holidays environmentally friendly. Recently I have come across a great site that is focused on green products and living green. The site, , has great tips on different green topics and unique items of interest. Today I came across the article on how to make Valentine’s Day green. There are many great ideas there about how to make your Valentine’s green. Some of the great Valentine’s Day ideas that were in the post included sending e-cards, or saving a trip and having a romantic dinner at home. Or if you were going to buy gifts, it was suggested to buy from local craft fairs or better yet make it yourself! No matter what you do this Valentine’s Day, or any other holiday it is always great to find unique ideas on how to make it green. In this case with Valentine’s Day around the corner I would encourage you to see what the “ecoenthusiast” has in mind!

ecoenthusiast logo


As featured on Newhope 360; Full Article link

ENSO Plastics develops near-perfect plastic bottle

Wed, 2011-11-09 13:09

While many can’t imagine life without bottled water, it wasn’t that long ago—the 1960s, in fact—that plastic bottle production didn’t exist. Today, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the plastic of choice in the beverage industry. According to ENSO Plastics, more than 75 percent of the ubiquitous bottles (and 94 percent of all plastics) end up in landfills. “We really want to solve the world’s plastic pollution issue,” said President Danny Clark of the Mesa, Ariz.–based company. ENSO is taking advantage of this statistic with its current solution: fully biodegradable and recyclable PET plastic.

“When we started, some of the cofounders had experience with bottled water companies. I was one of them,” said Clark. “We were exposed on a regular basis to the environmental impacts that bottled water has in the environment.” Customers asked the co-founders regularly for alternatives. Continue reading

Environment council wants eco-friendly plastic

Milton group leads national tests for decomposition

by Jonathan Copsey
write the author

November 21, 2011
MILTON, Ga. – A Milton group is helping lead the way to change how plastics affect the environment.

Although soda and milk bottles are collected and recycled at increasing rates, the majority of plastics simply cannot be recycled.

Reasons include contamination, collection and logistical costs.

About 13 million tons of plastic containers and packaging ended up in landfills in 2008, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

The Milton-based Plastics Environmental Council’s effort to develop a landfill biodegradation specification standard is intended to address this issue. The mere quantity, as well as the nature of plastics – that they don’t decompose or break down easily in nature – spurred the PEC and the industry to act.

“In recent years, many of my clients have become increasingly involved in sustainability,” Dr. Charles Lancelot said.

Lancelot, executive director of the PEC, runs the plastics industry consulting firm in Milton, drawing from his 45 years of experience.

“I was asked to find out how plastics can biodegrade,” he said.

From those conversations came the PEC about one year ago.

The PEC, working with Georgia Tech and North Carolina State universities, as well as many national chemical companies, aims to create standards for how the plastics we use – and discard – every day degrade when put into landfills.

The durability of plastic can be counteracted and the process of degrading sped up through the inclusion of additives to the plastic that encourage microbes in the landfills to feed on the plastic, breaking it down.

This can drastically cut the time it takes to decompose.

“While we already know from various independent laboratory tests that our member companies’ additives are expected to be effective at speeding up the biodegradation of petroleum and natural gas-derived plastics in landfills, this will be the first-of-its-kind study to verify biodegradation rates of plastic waste treated with such additives under both laboratory and field conditions,” said former Florida Sen. Robert McKnight, PEC Board chairman. “The new standard will allow us to develop a simple certification seal that will inspire confidence in these additives from businesses, consumers and regulators.”

While most plastics from hydrocarbons are recyclable, they are not biodegradable without the addition of chemical additives and remain in landfills virtually forever. Chemical additives, many of which are approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration, are added to the plastic resins during the manufacturing process. They do not alter the final product’s performance and are undetectable by the end user, and products containing them can be processed through current recycling methods.

“It’s not an alternative to recycling,” Lancelot said, “but if it’s going to a landfill, at least it can degrade.”

For more information about PEC, visit

America Recycles Day

As the sun set on November 15th, 2011 the nation paused to reflect upon our struggles and achievements with recycling. This annual event, “America Recycles Day”  on November 15, comes at us every year as a chance to refocus our efforts with recycling and waste management. We have seen the percentage of plastics recycled when compared with the amount of plastics produced, continue to decline (less than 8% of all plastics produced today are recycled). With the concerns of global warming and effects of pollution, it is important to understand the impact we can have on our environment. At ENSO Plastics we encourage people to be mindful of what they can do to help, no matter how small or large. Recycling is just one of many ways in which we can help our environment and preserve nature.

Join us in taking a moment to think about what each of us can do to help our Earth. Whether it is supporting alternate energy resources like solar power, choosing biodegradable plastics, creating less waste, or considering hybrid vehicles – remember that recycling is the least we can do to sustain our future. With each of us doing what we can, America Recycles Day in 2012 will be a chance for the world to unite in celebration of success!

What did you do today to help?


Biodegradable Plastics Standard to Bust Landfill Waste

The Plastics Environmental Council (PEC) is sponsoring research to produce the first standard specification for landfill biodegradation of petroleum- and natural gas-derived plastics treated with additives to speed up anaerobic biodegradation. Such a standard would be a huge help in coping with the estimated 29 million tons of post-consumer nonrecycled plastics that end up in landfills.

Plastics are generally not biodegradable unless they’ve been specifically engineered to do so, as materials used in food service items are in many areas of California. Petroleum-derived plastics don’t usually biodegrade unless they’ve had certain chemical additives introduced to them during the manufacturing process. The additives don’t affect the plastics’ performance, and products that contain the additives can be processed with existing recycling methods.

An additive made by ENSO Plastics, a PEC member, includes organic compounds that bond hydrostatically to the material’s molecules. When the material is placed in an environment like a landfill, the additive attracts anaerobic microbes that colonize the plastic, digest the additive, and further digest the plastic by depolymerizing it. The final products are either methane or carbon dioxide and humus.

The PEC-sponsored large-scale research and development program will be conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology and North Carolina State University and aims to produce a specification and a certification seal. The specification will reliably project landfill biodegradation rates for a given PEC-certified product in a given range of landfills over a given range of moisture conditions. The PEC expects the development of the specification to build confidence among regulators, consumers, and businesses in the effectiveness of plastics additives. It estimates the certification seal will be available in 18 months.

The study will be the first of its kind to verify biodegradation rates of plastic waste treated with additives under both laboratory and field conditions, Robert McKnight, the PEC’s chairman, said in a press release.

Professor Morton Barlaz of North Carolina State and his team will examine waste degradation rates under both field and laboratory conditions. To produce the specification, they will study petroleum- and natural gas-derived plastics that have been treated with additives from PEC member companies.

The additives are organic substances that encourage anaerobic landfill bacteria and fungi to break down the materials and convert them to biogas methane, carbon dioxide, and biogenic carbon. “Research done so far using standard test methods suggests that the treated plastics could biodegrade completely within five to ten years, depending on landfill conditions,” Lisa Detter Hoskin, a principal research scientist at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, who co-chairs the PEC’s technical advisory committee, said in a press release. A network of accredited laboratories will test products made with the biodegradable additives to ensure they degrade within a specified period.

PEC member companies include Biofilms, Bio-Tec Environmental, C-Line Products, ECM, Ecolab, Ecologic, FP International, Pure Plastics, and Wincup.


Ann R. Thryft

Senior Technical Editor, Materials and Assembly


By: Del Andrus

The AG of California is suing three companies that are trying to do the right thing for the environment. This brings up an issue that becomes the “big elephant in the room”.  There is confusion in the market place that needs major corrections and clearer definitions.  The market is in big need of education!  Let’s just take California as a perfect example.

When it comes to biodegradable plastics, there is an obvious need for a clearer understanding of what materials are made of, what the specific materials issues and values are; and a clearer understanding on how the material impacts the marketplace.  For instance, the article in Mercury News asking a recycler of plastic for his experience on how biodegradable plastic impacts his processing plant said, “Even in small percentages, like one-tenth of one percent, these are just catastrophic for us…They melt at different temperatures. They ruin our products.”  Anyone in the recycling industry would agree that this statement is absolutely correct.  The major error is one of clarification:  This statement is absolutely correct if you are referring to PLA material (plastics derived from corn and other starch-based crops) but is absolutely incorrect if you are referring to ENSO plastics, like this article did.  PLA is a completely different plastic, and is 100% incompatible with standard plastics: it melts at lower temperatures, it clogs up the processing equipment, and creates major issues with the physical properties of the new plastic product…the list goes on, but it’s kind of like water and oil in comparison: 1 drop of oil in your 5 gallon jug of water is going to be a problem for anyone to drink.

I contacted the recycler in this article to see what his level of understanding was and to no surprise; he stated that he was referring to his experience of the PLA material.  He further added, “I am not familiar with the ENSO material” and apologized for the confusion.  This same lack of specificity is rampant in all fields of “experts”; recyclers, composters, retail outlets, legislators and yes, even the Attorney General.

The compostable plastics industry is trying to separate themselves from the term “biodegradable plastics” because of this confusion.  Also, the fact that compostable plastic is not biodegradable until it physically breaks down in an industrial composting facility creates an issue for them in terms of their claims, so you will see this industry soon leaving the claim “biodegradable” for a more accurate description of “compostable”.  These industrial composting facilities are different from home composting in that the temperatures are much higher, causing PLA material to melt down into basic components that can then be consumed by microorganisms (microbes) that are found in waste environments.  There is also a plastic material that breaks down in oxygen and UV light called OXO-degradable.  This plastic is often referred to as a biodegradable plastic as well.

So to date, there are 3 categories of plastics that are considered “green”:  Biodegradable, compostable and Oxo-degradable.  The benefits and advantages differ quite a bit; and as illustrated, the way they are handled for end of life processes (composting vs. recycling) is likewise absolutely different.

If the world knew to distinguish biodegradable plastics into different categories, there would be far less confusion.  I would submit that innovation takes time to understand, but for clarity sake, the phrase “biodegradable plastics” should not be mistaken for PLA or any other material.  My hope is that this ordeal in California will stimulate education and scrutiny into what is being offered to the marketplace, and assist us all to clearly understand the differences of materials and their benefits.

***ENSO plastic is simply biodegradable because it is treated with an organic blend that attracts microbial activity (essentially mold or fungus) to consume the plastic just like they would consume any other typical food item in any environment where there this activity exists.  The rate of biodegradation varies depending on the environment it’s placed in.  But generally in a landfill environment, the ENSO material has been shown to biodegrade in 2-20 years depending on the microbial activity present.  All of the independent 3rd party ASTM physical properties tests illustrate that ENSO behaves like regular PET and that it is not a contaminate to the recycle stream.

Plastics Environmental Council Responds to Action Taken by California State Attorney General

MILTON, Ga.–(EON: Enhanced Online News)–The Plastics Environmental Council (PEC) today expressed their surprise that California Attorney General Kamala Harris has filed suit at this time against bottled water companies Aquamantra Inc. and Balance Water and their bottle supplier, ENSO Plastics, charging that the companies’ claims that their bottles biodegrade are false. “In so doing,” notes Sen. Robert W. McKnight, the PEC’s chairman and a former Florida state Legislator, “the Attorney General may not be aware of the timing that was agreed upon by her state Legislature together with Californians Against Waste (CAW) to allow completion of our currently ongoing R&D program to develop a biodegradability standard specification acceptable to the State Senate’s Environmental Quality Committee before enacting SB567.” The latter, broader measure was written to supersede the existing law governing plastic food and beverage containers. “We want to partner with the State of California to provide indisputable research data on this important environmental issue in the form of a bonafide ASTM or equivalent standard specification that readily communicates proven biodegradation information to the consumer,” adds Senator McKnight.

Dr. Charles J. Lancelot, the PEC’s Executive Director and a veteran of 40 years in the plastics industry, emphasized that to date, the PEC and its members companies in fact have produced a large body of laboratory-scale testing data with these additive systems. “These tests are executed under conditions that have been carefully worked out to come as closely as possible in the laboratory to conditions found in actual US landfills,” said Dr. Lancelot. He noted that it is widely recognized in the industry that biodegradation occurs in all US landfills receiving waste today at rates dependent upon moisture level, and that the refined laboratory testing conditions in place today approximate those in landfills in the wetter parts of the US, accessible to just under half of the population. “Unlike in commercial composters, which receive only between 5-8% of municipal solid waste and which operate on cycles of 180 days or less, landfill biodegradation processes, even for readily biodegradable food wastes in the wetter landfills, take several years,” said Dr. Lancelot.

“Even so, given the need to ensure that consumers receive accurate biodegradability information, and that they receive it concisely and definitively, the mass of test data available to date understandably is not considered acceptable by California legislators as the adequate, concise proof that consumers need,” notes Sen. McKnight. “So over the course of several months last spring, we presented our standard specification R&D program plans to several California lawmakers and their technical advisors, including Sen. Mark deSaulnier (D-Concord)”. Sen. deSaulnier authored the existing legislation under which the Attorney General’s current action is being taken. Sen. deSaulnier also authored the successor legislation, SB567, signed last month by Gov. Brown and scheduled to replace the existing law on January 01, 2013 with an even broader coverage of all plastic products.

The PEC’s R&D effort as presented to the California Legislature last Spring and as outlined in recent press releases is a long-term research study to produce the first-ever standard specification for the landfill biodegradation of petroleum- and natural gas-derived plastics that have been treated with additives that enhance biodegradation. The organization has partnered with Georgia Tech and North Carolina State University to execute this large-scale research and development program, headed by one of the world’s foremost experts on landfill technology, Professor Morton Barlaz of North Carolina State. The work was recently described in a news release from Georgia Tech. Once developed, the standard specification will reliably project the landfill biodegradation rates for a given PEC-certified product in a given range of landfills over a given range of moisture conditions with much more certainty and much more concisely for the consumer than has been possible today. Such full-scale performance criteria are not available from the best of today’s laboratory test data.

“The conversations among the PEC and the Legislature culminated in a landmark meeting in which an agreement was reached with both Senator deSaulnier and with CAW to allow the time needed for the PEC to complete the development of the biodegradation standard specification that the Legislature wanted,” Sen. McKnight said. The result of this meeting was to extend the implementation date for SB567 from January 01, 2012 to January 01, 2013. “Given this mandate to get the standard specification job done by that time, the PEC’s members made the major commitment required to push the project through,” according to Sen. McKnight.

“We would like to think that the three companies currently cited could cooperate with Attorney General Harris’s office and apply any needed qualifications to their claims based on the weight of the test evidence already in hand with the understanding that the agreed-to standard specification program is being run to completion,” said Sen. McKnight. “After all, assuming that the R&D indeed produces the needed standard specification and that it is incorporated into a further amended SB567 by January 01, 2013, the 2008 law will have been repealed thereby and the cited companies will be in compliance with the new law.”

About the Plastics Environmental Council

The PEC is a consortium of businesses, independent scientists and academics, engineers, landfill and compost operators, and environmental groups. Our goal is to assist our members in promoting the efficacy of state-of-the-market technology to facilitate the biodegradation of conventional petroleum-derived plastics in landfills and related disposal environments. For more information, please visit:


Main Office
Charles J. Lancelot, Ph.D., (770) 475-8867
Cell: (678) 296-6158
Fax: (770) 753-0164
Executive Director
West Coast Office
Clifford Moriyama, (916) 685-4853
Cell: (916) 215-5215
Fax: (916) 848-3626
Executive Vice President

ENSO Plastics Official Statement Regarding California Lawsuit


In response to the recent media coverage regarding the California Attorney General filing a lawsuit against companies doing business in California that are labeling their product packaging as “biodegradable”. At this time ENSO Plastics is unable to comment specifically about the details of any such lawsuit as we have not had the opportunity to read the lawsuit.

We do however, strongly believe in our company’s mission to rid the world of plastic pollution and have been dedicated for the past three years in bringing the most sound environmental plastic solutions to market. We stand behind our technology and the claims that our company makes in stating that standard plastics enhanced with our biodegradable additive are fully recyclable and if placed in an environment with microbes, will naturally biodegrade.

We in no way claim that our technology is the silver bullet to solving the massive plastic pollution issue our world faces. It is however a huge step in the right direction and a cost effective solution that can be implemented within todays manufacturing and end-of-life options. We do recognize that a key component in continuing to move towards the perfect solution is to address the sourcing issue of plastics and to move away from fossil fuel based polymers. Our company is one of a few companies who are diligently working towards offering renewable bio-polymers (with the same physical properties) that will address the sourcing issue which also provides a fully recyclable and naturally biodegradable end-of-life option. We also recognize that our industry is young and we have a ways to go to improving the processes to allow our industry to mature as needed. We are continually improving the testing process and working with organizations to provide more thorough data and information for the public.

Each of us have contributed in one way or another to our global plastic pollution issue and it will be up to each of us to work together to solve the very problem we created. The public is ready for change and is looking for more environmental packaging and plastic solutions. It is unfortunate that such a law could get passed that would inhibit biodegradable technologies from being labeled as such. We fully support the premise of the law to prevent “greenwashing”, but do not agree that banning or preventing the use of proper labeling of a package as a step toward solving that problem. We believe consumers should be allowed to know if their product packaging is biodegradable and if so, provided with the details of how and in what environments the packaging will biodegrade.

It is also unfortunate that this law specifically allows the use of product packaging which is compostable to be labeled as “compostable”, but for competing technologies such as ours, makes it illegal for companies to properly label their packaging as “biodegradable”. It leads one to question the true intent behind the law, especially when that law was supported and sponsored by the compostable plastics industry organization. It’s unfortunate, because there is currently very little infrastructure in place for composting facilities to accept compostable plastics. As a result, tons of compostable plastics end up in either the recycle stream or in landfill environments; neither provides the environmental benefit of the product. In our view of greenwashing, a company making a claim to an environmental benefit that cannot be achieved is the most serious form of “greenwashing”.

ENSO Plastics has all intentions of working with the California Attorney General to comply with the labeling law. We will continue forward with pursuing our mission to help solve the world’s plastic pollution issue and continue to improve the science and validity of our young industry. We would invite everyone to join with us in our efforts towards a cleaner future.

Danny Clark
ENSO Plastics