Eco Friendly Bags
We have a short clip of a fully automatic non woven bag machine running courtesy of Ounuo Machinery from You Tube.
Regarding plastic bags the addition of 2-3% of Polybatch DEG 68 UK during extrusion will produce a photochemically and thermally degradable film.
Polyethylene containing Polybatch DEG 68 UK will not degrade before being exposed to UV light. Once it has been exposed to UV light the degradation reaction will be triggered and continues even in the dark, it will be accelerated by heat.
Degradable polyethylene is an oil based plastic containing a chemical additive that undergoes significant change in its chemical structure causing large polymer molecules to break down into smaller molecules or particles. Degradable polyethylene products tent to break down into carbon dioxide, biomass and water with a very small residue of non-toxic inert mineral material thus reducing environmental issues.
Biological degradation can start when the molecular weight has been drastically reduced and when the surfact area of the disintegrated plastic has been enlarged. Polybatch DEG 68 UK contains active metal ions embedded in LDPE, degradation starts once the metal ions have been activated by exposure to a UV light source.
Degradation speed is dependent on:
the concentration of Polybatch DEG
the thickness of the film
the type of polymer resin
the presence of antioxidant and pigments
the type of UV exposure
While we offer a biodegradable film as standard on almost all of our polythene packaging using Polybatch DEG 68 UK or additives such as Biothene or D2W, more research is going on into films that can degrade in shorter times when they have been added into the waste stream after use thus lessening the environmental issue of plastic bags.
Are paper bags a more environmentally friendly alternative?
Unfortunately not… polythene is derived from using less than 10% of the oil and gas produced in the UK and the rest of the world. Paper is made by destroying trees. Both oil and gas and trees are diminishing resources however like the management of tree plantations plastics may be manufactured from renewable sources in the future as well.
Plastic bags are a relatively safe product to manufacture, heating up the polymer into a molten state then blowing the polymer into a bubble on an extrusion machine. Kraft paper for bags by comparison requires the heating of wood chips under pressure at high temperatures in a chemical solution then pulping the wood chips in water generating huge amounts of air and water pollutants. The wet paper requires the water to be removed using heat and pressure – More fossil fuel is required to manufacture one paper bag in comparison to one plastic bag.
Transportation costs for paper are higher, for every truck load of plastic bags it takes seven trucks to ship the equivalent quantity of paper bags. This is a huge pollutant and user of more fossil fuels in the form of diesel.
Essentially we need to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle as much as we can. Planet Packaging actively encourage companies to us less packaging converting to lighter thinner packaging which is often as strong. Have a recycling policy for waste packaging coming into your business giving you green credentials which you can advertise to your customers in turn highlighting your awareness of environmental issues.
We are always here to do an audit of your packaging requirements to see ways in which modern packaging can play a part in your business. Let us give you some options on eco friendly bags to suit your budget.