-manufactured in Ireland from recycled plastic materials
-100% degradable plastic bags from Earth2earth brand
-it will fit all standard bins in Ireland - large 26" x 44"
-suitable for commercial and domestic waste collection
-plastic degrades harmlessly to water and carbon dioxide
Going Green With Waste Disposal With The 26" x 44" Earth2Earth Totally Degradable Refuse Sacks
Waste management is a core part of everyday building maintenance. You want means to toss out the trash, otherwise it will be a whole cocktail of problems, from the health standards of your home or workplace, to the unsightly nature of garbage strewn all over. While plastic refuse sacks have been used for decades, they are a threat to Mother Nature. Measures such as total degradation have been developed, to mitigate this.
Chemistry Behind The Total Degradation Process
Let's get into some Chemistry to break this down into bits:
There has been lots of uproar over plastic- and with good reason. Plastic pollution has a massive impact on the environment, including wildlife- both land and marine. The molecular structure of the plastic means it takes long to degrade. From the plastic bags used in everyday activities taking decades to break down into smaller bits, plastic bottles that clock over 450 years, to the plastics in landfills that take even 1000 years before degrading- this makes it pose a real threat to the ecosystem. To quote the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Every bit of plastic ever made still exists.” It goes to show how durable the material is. All this is while still posing risks such as animals consuming the plastics. Thousands of birds, seals, and turtles die each year as a direct result of the plastic bags in the oceans, mistaking the bags for jellyfish- which is their food. Once ingested, the bags are not digested, staying put in the gut, and in turn preventing other foods from being digested- which causes a slow and painful death to the animal. Once the affected animal dies, and decays, the plastic that had been ingested is released back into the ocean, and it continues killing other animals in a similar fashion. It is estimated that a whole rubbish truck of plastic gets dumped each minute into the marine environment, with there currently being over 5 trillion pieces of microplastic floating around in the oceans. In fact, by 2050, the plastic will have outweighed fish life. As such, the importance of turning the tide cannot be overemphasised. This brings about the need to put in place measures that will be beneficial to the environment, while still enabling you to meet the needs in your everyday work and social life.
The Solution: Total Degradation
Degradation is, in a nutshell, the breakdown of large substances into smaller ones. Basically, the largest molecules which are exposed to the elements over time get fragmented, forming smaller molecules. Biodegradation specifically occurs when the breaking down is caused by microorganisms. The design of the Earth2Earth Totally Degradable Refuse Sacks - Clear - 26" x 44” takes this approach. The material itself is oxo-degradable, enabling the plastic to be used and disposed of while reducing the build-up of landfills and the effect on the environment.
The attributes of plastic- from the flexibility, tear resistance, to the toughness of the film, is as a result of the high molecular weight. For perspective, carbon (IV) oxide has a molecular weight of 44, and for water (H2O), it's 18, while the average polyethylene film, can reach a molecular weight of 300,000. Strong covalent bonds hold together the atoms in these molecules.
The total degradation takes two stages:
When the bags are disposed, they are exposed to mechanical stress, heat, and the elements- including UV radiation. Any of these factors, or a combination of them, can kick start the degradation, where the covalent bonds holding together the atoms of the plastic film get broken down, reducing the molecular weight of the material, and also causing it to lose its structure. When the degradation starts it doesn’t stop. The material reacts with oxygen, resulting in the formation of water wettable molecular fragments. The polymer is quickly broken down. For instance, the Earth2Earth films that are developed with a Totally Degradable Plastic Additive see the molecular weight falling from 250,000 all through to 4,000.
Biodegradation kicks in, where the microbial activity of the molecular fragments results in formation of water, carbon dioxide and biomass. Here, the microorganisms use the broken-down fragments as food. As such, there isn’t any harmful residue that is left behind, which has a net positive impact on the environment.
Throughout the total degradation process, there aren’t any acids, or toxic agents that are produced, so there won’t be a risk posed to Mother Nature.
Value Of Using The 26" x 44" Earth2Earth Totally Degradable Refuse Sacks - Clear - 26" x 44"
First, there are the benefits to the environment. After all, this is your main focus when turning to the Earth2Earth products. With the oxo-degradable bags, you get to have refuse sacks that can handle the waste management needs in your residential or commercial establishment, while simultaneously reducing your carbon footprint. For the business owners, you get to portray yourself to your customers as an enterprise that cares for the environment, which positively impacts on your brand.
Then there is the landfill problem. Municipal councils are running out of space fast, with the amount of waste getting to the landfills, and the slow rate of decomposition. No one wants to see more landfills being set up, due to their effect on the environment. Yet, with the current ones filling up, the state of affairs tends towards that direction. As such, various measures are being put in place to avert this, from the recycling of products, redesigning of the landfill waste management systems, all through to insistence on total degradation products. The 26" x 44" Earth2Earth refuse sacks fall in the latter. Firstly, since the sacks themselves degrade completely through this process, resulting in water, biomass and carbon dioxide, it reduces that amount of waste in the landfills. What’s more the bags degrade quickly, allowing the contents within them to be released and also begin degrading. This has the net effect of increasing the amount of space available within the landfills, preventing them from filling up fast, allowing more waste to be efficiently handled at the area. This plays a role in reducing the number of landfills that are being set up, thus reducing the risks to the environment.