EPI - PIONEERING OXO-BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC TECHNOLOGY  
 
 
Plastic Bags with TDPA™ from EPI 
Are you looking for a bag, or do you want to make a statement about your Company! By choosing a Biodegradable bag, not only are you telling your customers you are committed to the environment, you will also be joining an international community of brand names and supermarkets who use EPI’s TDPA™ worldwide every day. 
 
“Plastic Bags with TDPA™ from EPI” Click to Read More... 
 
Oxo-Biodegradable plastic bags with EPI’s TDPA™ additive have been available since 1991. The bags with pioneering technology from EPI, degrade under the natural action of sunlight, elevated temperatures, and mechanical action; plastic bags with your logo will no longer embarrass you, stuck in trees, littering streets, or slowly drowning in rivers and ponds for years to come. 
 
Due to the patented technology in the TDPA™ additive, bags made of normal Polyethylene can be used and reused time and time again: with no loss of strength, performance, print quality etc until at the end of its (manufacturer) specified life. The bag will begin to degrade into smaller and smaller fragments, able to further biodegrade to just Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Water (H2O) and Biomass (proven under international standards and independent testing). 
 
With the on-going support and scientific backing of EPI Global you can be assured that the plastic additives used in these bags are food safe (additive complies with FDA, EFSA etc), non-toxic, and non-ecotoxic; making your choice in this bag a sound environmental and commercial choice. 
 
For more information, please visit the EPI website at www.epi-global.com or send an email with your question to info@epi-global.com 
Q & A with TDPA™ from EPI 
This section is a collection of standard “Questions & Answers” and statements to help with your Webcopy about Oxo-Biodegradable bags to help inform your customers, helping them make the correct buying decisions.  
 
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Why should I think Bio-degradable? 
In the UK we use about 10 Billion carrier bags per year, each on average for only 20 minutes. At an average of 8g each, that is 80,000 tonnes of plastic, equivalent to 45,000 cars or 230 swimming pools full per year. By using Bio-degradable materials this volume is generally turned into Carbon Dioxide, Water and Biomass that are then absorbed by plants to grow, and create Oxygen. 
 
What is a Bio-degradable Bag made of? 
Instead of a normal pure plastic like Polyethylene a Biodegradable Bag is normally made of one of the following Materials: Paper, Natural Fibre: Jute, Hemp or Cotton, Bio-Polymer, Oxo-Biodegradable Plastic/additive. Each material has its own properties, and therefore different strengths and weaknesses. 
 
Which Material is best for me? 
It depends on your budget, your application, and how you want to market your company and product. The best thing is that there is now such a choice that nearly everybody can find the perfect bag for their needs. 
BAG DURING 
BAG BEFORE 
BAG AFTER 
Choosing Your Bag 
1. Weight to be carried 
2. Material Thickness 
3. Size of Bag in relation to your products 
4. Clear, Opaque, Coloured 
5. Degree of Printing required 
6. Type of Handles 
7. Quality of Bag in relation to Company/Products 
8. Life of Bag 
9. Cost of Bag 
10. Performance required 
11. Annual Quantity 
12. Route for Disposal 
Paper 
A once cheap alternative to plastic, but have fallen in popularity due to weight limitations, however are very printable for that Premium Image.  
 
 
Click here to read Pros and Cons 
 
Pros 
Can be Printed 
High Quality Graphics possible 
Ideal for Fruit & Veg: Breathable 
 
Cons 
Breakdown if Wet 
Poor Strength to Weight Ratio 
Heavy 
High Cost 
High energy usage in manufacture 
Plastic 
Polyethylene: the standard for many years, often maligned as evil, but are now over 60% lighter than bags 20 years ago, and due to the conscientious public now recycled at an ever increasing rate.  
 
Click here to read Pros and Cons 
 
Pros 
Excellent Strength to Weight Ratio 
Printable 
Recyclable 
Low Cost 
 
Cons 
Derived from Oil & Gas 
Do not Degrade 
Cannot Compost 
Natural Fibre 
Examples are Cotton, Hemp and Jute bags. Becoming increasingly popular as long life bags, but the initial high cost may be prohibitive to many. 
 
 
Click here to read Pros and Cons 
 
Pros 
Very long life/Reusable 
Very Strong 
Makes a strong statement about a company 
From “Sustainable” sources 
Are Degradable 
 
Cons 
Cannot be Recycled 
Poor Print Quality 
High Water Foot Print 
Very Expensive 
Easily contaminated 
Bio-Polymer 
Bio-polymers are a range of “Plastics” made from materials like Corn starch, sugar beet etc. Some are clear, some are very stiff, and some are water soluble; the range is considerable and growing with development and application. 
 
Click here to read Pros and Cons 
 
Pros 
Most are Bio-Degradable 
Some are Compostable 
Positive Image 
 
Cons 
High cost 
Poor/brittle feel 
Need correct Storage 
High Energy and Water footprints to manufacture 
Low Strength to Weight Ratio 
Do not Degrade at Sea 
Not Recyclable 
Oxo-biodegradables 
Based on an Additive to normal Polyethylene, they make a plastic that takes hundreds of years to degrade, Bio-degrade in only a couple of years. 
 
 
Click here to read Pros and Cons 
 
Pros 
Excellent Strength to Weight Ratio 
Printable 
Looks, feels, and acts just like a normal Carrier bag until it degrades 
Recyclable 
Low Cost 
Bio-degradable 
Degrade at Sea 
 
Cons 
Derived from Oil & Gas 
Cannot Compost 
Need correct storage 
What is my Oxo-biodegradable Bag made out of? 
Your bag is still made mainly out of Polyethylene with a small amount of a Food Safe, non toxic Additive called TDPA™. This additive makes the plastic, which would normally take hundredsof years to degrade, degrade in only a few years. 
 
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First the plastic fragments into small pieces some microscopic in size, these are then broken down by bacteria, fungi, lichen, and micro-organisms in the soil etc to form Carbon Dioxide, Water, and Biomass. The Carbon Dioxide, Water, and Biomass are then absorbed by plants and turned into Food and Oxygen by the process of Photosynthesis. 
Are Plastics a waste of Gas & Oil? 
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Over 86% of all oil is just burnt, in cars, to make energy, and heat. About 2% of the Oil & Gas is used to make plastics; this 2% would otherwise be waste, as the oil companies extract the 86% used as fuel, heating etc as their very profitable product, not for making plastics. Of this 2%, less than 1% is used to make bags, that is less than 0.02% used to make Plastic Bags. 
Are Oxo-biodegradable Bags harmful? 
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No. The additives are fully tested and are Food Safe, non toxic. Further, by breaking down faster than a normal bag, they allow the contents to decompose faster therefore Aerobically. If the contents decompose whilst sealed in the bag, without oxygen, Anaerobically, they will generate Methane gas which is explosive, and 21x more damaging to the environment than Carbon Dioxide (CO2) gas, which is normally released on decomposition. 
 
Is it true Bags make up most of the Litter? 
No. Less than 1% of street litter is made up of carrier bags; the worst offenders are Fast Food containers, plastic water bottles, and surprisingly still Cigarettes and Chewing Gum. Street Litter is a Social Behaviour problem; not as such a material problem. 
How long will it take for my bag to degrade? 
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The bags take about 2 years to degrade when you have disposed of them; this time is accelerated slightly by heat, sunlight (UV) and mechanical action. 
Can I Compost this item? 
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Unfortunately, like Bio plastics, home Compost heaps are not suitable for our bags. Since industrial composting is a business driven by speed and money, our bags take a little too long for them, as we want you to get a good useful life out of your bag, so just recycle them as normal, and turn them back into more bags. 
Can I recycle my bag? 
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Your bag is still made mainly out of Polyethylene with a small amount for a Food Safe Non Toxic Additive called TDPA™. This additive does not affect the recycling system, so your bag can be recycled as you would normally, either in store or at a local municipal recycling centre. 
How long will my bag last? 
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We have designed the bags to give you about two years of normal use, so you can keep using the bag as you normally would, then when it is worn out, recycle it. 
How should I dispose of my Oxo-biodegradable Bag? 
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The best route is the Recycle the bag, as this saves about 40% of the energy in making a new bag. The next best solution is Incineration, as Plastic has a very high calorific value, like oil. The final and least environmental solution is landfill; but only after you have used the bag as many times as possible. 
Isn’t my Landfill full of Plastic Bags? 
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40 % of waste at a Landfill is Organic matter, which really should have been composted. “Plastic” bags make up only about 0.05% of our rubbish. 
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