Our products use patented technology to decompose in any natural environment including landfill. We are strong supporters of the circular economy, however currently over 80% of plastic still ends up in landfill and even with best practice this is only likely to reduce to 50% in the next few years. So, our products if they escape recycling and end up in landfill, using our patented technology will decompose completely over 2 years.
PaktoEarth products will decompose either with UV light or atmospheric thermal temperatures, because it has oxygen built in, even if it is buried in landfill the plastic will start to decompose once a set trigger date is reached for it to start breaking down.
Many people think they are doing the right thing by purchasing bioplastic or PLA products in the market. However, bioplastics, although they are made from plant-based materials, they convert to plastics during manufacture with little or none of the “plant” material left. Bioplastic has similar characteristics to traditional PP & PE plastic.
Bioplastic is technically biodegradable but needs to be treated in an industrial plant at a constant temperature of 60 Centigrade for 2 days to degrade it to a point where it will break down. If it ends up in landfill without the treatment it will take years to break down like traditional plastics. Not only that it gives off high levels of methane as it decomposes which is 24 times more potent in the atmosphere than CO2.
There are currently only 10 plants that can do the industrial treatment out of 2,500 waste facilities in Australia, and numbers are similar in the US and UK.
Although plant-based plastics are recyclable, they must be separated from traditional plastics prior to recycling. The recycled plastic pellets are generally of a lower quality and some recyclers will send the bioplastic to landfill as it is not viable to recycle them.
Yes. Products using the patented Raws-Tech have been tested by top laboratories in the world and reported to comply with the strict standards of the European Union and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The product is still being tested but the following results have been achieved.
- ASTM 6954 T1 – Passed and Certified
- ASTM 6954 T2 – 12 months into a 2-year test
- AS4736-2006 – In progress
- EN13432 – In progress
- BS8472 – Certification Smithers UK
- EN15345-2007 – Certification Smithers UK
- GBT20197 – Passed and Certified
- EN13130 (QIMA) – Passed and Certified
- FDA – Passed and Certified
The EU definition of single use plastics specifically defines the product of oxo-degradable plastics as fragmentation to microplastics with chemical decomposition. PaktoEarth are completely different products and have been proven under testing (ASTM 6954) to decompose to air, water and less than 1% biomass and not chemical composition according to the EU definition.
This happens in 2 processes, first a chemical process that breaks the plastic down into a completely different material or a Ketone, which can then subsequently be attacked by micro-organisms to its final product and be plastic no more.
Traditionally degradable plastics have created problems in the past with proliferation of microplastics, and this has led to bans on single use plastics around the world. At PaktoEarth we support this ban on traditional oxo-degradable single use plastics. We also support the circular economy, which has become a focus with many governments.
Consumers have been confused with a mixed information that they receive about different products including bioplastics, recycling, and newer technologies such as ours. This can be for many reasons, but ultimately our products at PaktoEarth, although they look like traditional plastics, with technological breakthroughs, are very different in that they are 100% recyclable, are compostable over time and will decompose to less than 1% of a harmless salt in landfill where over 80% of plastic still ends up.
In theory, PAKTOEARTH plastic is compostable in both industrial and home compost. However, it will not compost straight away, but may take months due to the “stall” or trigger date set to activate the decomposing process. Therefore composted results will not be obvious quickly.
We are working on achieving AS4736–2006 and AS5810–2010, which are the certified composting standards in Australia. However, this requires that a minimum of 90% of plastic materials disintegrate into less than 2mm pieces in compost within 12 weeks, and due to the in-bedded time-controlled stall we put in to provide shelf life it is something we’re working on the achieve.
Most ocean waste is from unmanaged landfills, where traditional plastic products are broken down into microplastics which wash into the waterways and are then taken out to sea.
As our products will decompose in landfill and anywhere else, the process will most likely complete prior to getting washed into waterways, with no microplastics going into the oceans. This will reduce the problem of microplastics getting into our oceans.
Due to the hydrophilic nature of the products at the breakdown stage, and the very low amount of remaining salt, there is unlikely to be adverse contaminants to leach out to waterways and the ocean. However, if industrial quantity should be illegally disposed of in waterways, there may be side effects. Laboratory testing shows that for every single kilogram of plastic, salts resulting from the breakdown is 1 gram.
At PaktoEarth, we fully support the circular economy and the three-Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). However, for the circular economy to work, products need to be designed with end of use in mind, and this concept is front and centre at the development of RAWS-tech.
Over time, new technologies will emerge, and more and more packaging will fit into the circular economy, but in the meantime most of the plastic will end up in landfill for the foreseeable future. Even by 2025 it is estimated that only 50% of plastic at best will be recycled.
Most other existing products need specialist treatment to decompose in nature or landfill which uses high levels of energy and cost. The pace of change, although gaining momentum, is still slow.
We are coming up with ways to reuse plastic, but many of these ideas are still in their infancy, and as mentioned over 80% of plastic waste currently ends up in landfill. Although this will reduce, we need to have answers to the volume of plastic escaping from the circular economy.
Our products can be recycled, like traditional plastics, thus supporting the circular economy, but if they escape, they will naturally decompose in any environment whether that be compost or landfill with no expensive energy used in the process, producing a residue of air, water and less than 1% of a harmless salt.
Littering is wrong and illegal and we do not condone anyone who litters. Our products carry the message that littering is wrong and to place the item into a recycling bin as our products are fully recyclable.
The good news is that if one of our products ends up being littered, if it is not placed into a recycling bin, it will break down to become plastic no more, although that may take a couple of years to achieve.
We make sure our clients communicate the right messaging regarding littering including providing suitable information to put on their packaging.
It’s our ambition to work with the packaging industry, as well as recyclers, NGOs and policymakers to drive towards 100% of packaging being recyclable and also biodegradable and stop littering.
The patented RAWS-tech has come about through partnership with NAMI, a research institute of over 200 PhD qualified experts set up in Hong Kong to create unique breakthroughs in nanotechnology who have come up with this technology.
Our product RAWS-tech is a polymer additive in pellet form and is added to the plastic resin during manufacturing. During manufacture a “stall” or trigger date is set up for the polymer to become active at some point from 6 months up to 4 years, depending on the supply chain.
This is important as it creates a lag time from product manufacture to shipping, delivery and shelf life both instore and once the product has been purchased by the consumer until the plastic packaging is disposed of. This will vary depending on the product and packaging.
Once this trigger date is hit, the RAWS-tech polymer will start to break down the plastic with or without sunlight in landfill or wherever it ends up.
The first stage is the oxidisation of the plastic. As the RAWS-tech has built in oxygen it will work either in sunlight or thermal atmospheric conditions. This oxidation creates a catalytic reaction to break the carbon-carbon (aliphatic) bonds at a molecular level and introduce oxygen into the polymer chain, reducing the molecular weight of the plastic, which initially is about 300,000 grams per molecule (GM). If the molecular weight drops below 5,000 grams per molecule (tested under ASTM 6954) the plastic takes on a new form. RAWS-tech has been certified at 4,300 GM but has tested as low as 2,100 GM.
At this point the plastic is no longer plastic but has become a form of Ketone or acetone and has been altered into a group of materials that are available to bio-organisms. In landfill there are lots of bacteria and other organisms due to the heat that will rapidly break down the compound.
The final step converts what remains into air, water and less than 1% of a harmless salt. This total process can take up to 2 years but in the right conditions occurs in less than a year once the polymer has triggered.
Yes, our products are fully recyclable in the same way that traditional PP and PE plastics are recycled. The plastic will get to a recycling plant before the trigger sets off the process, and our products can be treated like any other PP or PE plastic products. The extreme heat generated in the recycling process (160 – 165°C for PP), will destroy the added polymer agent as it melts the plastic, thus stopping the possibility of inadvertent decomposing of the recycled plastic.
Our technology works with a wide range of plastic types including:
- Injection moulded or thermoformed PP: such as you might find in clear plastic containers from a supermarket delicatessen.
- Injection moulded PP or LDPE: the lids of plastic bottles, for instance for soft drinks or cleaning products, are often made of this material.
- Mono and multi-layer PP, LLDPE, LDPE: thin plastic bags, the nets in which fruit is packaged and ready-meal wrappings are often made of this.
- Mono and multi-layer BOPP: candy wrappers, cigarette film, bakery products and flower sleeves.
- Non-woven PP: facemasks, tea bags and wipes.
Our patented RAWS-tech product ingredient GN100X is designed to break down the plastic no matter where it is once the trigger date has arrived. It can be buried in landfill or anywhere else, it will still start to decompose.
Once it has oxidised sufficiently it is no longer plastic and can be broken down with micro-organisms and existing bacteria. It does not need any special pre-treatment like Bioplastics to become air, water and a harmless salt.
Currently a high % of plastic ends up in landfill, so our product is clearly the best alternative to return plastic back to the earth safely and responsibly until a suitable alternative can be found. In the last 10 years or so, fossil fuel reserves around our planet have grown and are now greater than 2009, with more being discovered.
Our goal is to develop our technology to use other source materials as replacements as technology develops. For example technology is being tested that will turn plastic back to petroleum, which we can use in the manufacturing process.
With plant-based plastics, the corn or other original plant material is using valuable arable land and it is estimated that by 2050 if all plastic is manufactured from plant-based material it will consume 52% of our existing arable land in direct competition with plants used for food and fuel.
For our current situation where plastic use is still a necessity, any that escapes from the recycling system should have a safe, environmentally friendly end of life. PaktoEarth plastic will deliver on that. The cost of PaktoEarth products are also cheaper than many alternatives.
If current trends continue, the total amount of plastic waste in the natural environment will reach 4 billion tons by 2050, with packaging accounting for about two thirds of this. Polypropylene packaging alone will contribute at least 130 million tons, according to the 13D Global Strategy and Research.
32% of this is likely to end up in the oceans with the remaining 68% on land. Microplastics in the ocean are getting into the food chain and affecting everything that we eat.
Our main driver at PaktoEarth is to help make our world a better place, finding ways to be part of that. Our motivation is to find technology that will stop plastic waste from proliferating our land, waterways, and oceans. In many countries’ plastics are dumped in unmanaged landfills which will leach into the waterways.
Plastic pollution has become a major issue in many countries and has caught a lot of public attention. However current efforts are generally populist, and reactionary based on efforts to get good headlines with a major push on recycling and the circular economy.
Although recycling is critical, it’s not addressing the main issues, that over 80% of plastic still ends up in landfill and production of plastic is growing faster than at any time in history. Up till now attempts to find plastics that are fully biodegradable have been only partially successful, but new technologies are emerging all the time.
Our mission is to use technology to create products to deal with plastic pollution with nature, and our RAWS-tech is one of the first fully recyclable plastics to decompose plastic that escapes into landfill or any other place, returning it to nature without creating microplastics or harming the natural environment or interfering with recycling streams.
Have another question? Submit a question by clicking the link below.