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Degradable rubbish bags

Production and disposal

d2w polythene is produced using Degradable Compostable Plastics technology (or DCP for short). DCP technology involves using an additive combined with a blend of polythene resins (called polyethylene by chemists) during the production process. This additive makes the plastic degradable without affecting the qualities of the material (it is still tough and tear resistant, for example). The environmental impact of the additive is negligible.

After use, the plastic's degradation begins as a result of any combination of heat, light and stress. It then continues even in a landfill site or under water. As the polymer molecules are broken up, the small fragments produced in the presence of air are converted to carbon dioxide and water. Throughout the process, the degrading material does not contain any acidic or alkaline soluble fragments that could cause contamination.

Eventually, the material's molecules become small enough to be assimilated by micro-organisms. At the end of degradation, all that is left of the plastic is a tiny amount of carbon dioxide and water - exactly the same products that we breathe out.

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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