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Oxo-Biodegradable additives to transform Sri Lanka’s plastic industry  


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The Sri Lankan polythene industry, which was under threat after the implementation of several bans, will gain a lifeline with New Nawaloka Trading Company’s newest product Oxo-Biodegradable (OBD) additives, an ingredient which causes plastics to degrade.

The product developed by UAE-based EnerPlastics LLC converts non-biodegradable plastic material into degradable material after a pre-programmed lifespan of complete mechanical integrity.

“Our product can help save the environmental crisis in the country and at the same time help the polythene industry that is in crisis now following the ban,” said EnerPlastic Sales Manager Ian Villages.

The ingredient offers an environmentally friendly alternative to both plastic manufacturers and consumers, he said. According to available statistics, only 20% of 230 million tonnes of plastics consumed each year is recycled, the other 80% is discarded into the environment. The new ingredient can become the solution to this, Villages said.

The ingredient, used in very low doses in the plastic production process, is safe and contains no harmful chemicals such as lead, which enables its usage even in items which come in contact with food, explained EnerPlastics Research Specialist Rashad Hasnain.

“EnerPlastics OBD can be used for all applications in which conventional polyolefins are suitable. Along with the other colour and additive masterbatch available from EnerPlastics, this makes it an excellent one-stop shop. Degradable additives made by EnerPlastics are non-toxic and safe for food contact applications,” he said while presenting details of the product.

The product activates the oxidisation process, with abiotic oxidation influenced by heat and sunlight, which reduces the molecular weight of the plastic significantly. This first process is followed by microbial biodegradation.

“The main factors that influence abiotic oxidation are heat and sunlight. They are crucial for both reduction of molecular weight and the production of low molecular weight compounds that can be assimilated easily by microorganisms,” he explained.

The product is already successfully in use in a number of countries, Hasnain revealed.

New Nawaloka Trading, which was key in introducing the product to Sri Lanka, has had a long working relationship with EnerPlastics.

New Nawaloka Trading CEO V. Ganesh said that the relationship spans over two decades and the innovative products introduced to the Sri Lankan market have always been recognised by many of its customers over the years. EnerPlastics CEO Akther Aman was also present at the launch. 

Pix by Indraratne Balasuriya

 


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