Ingredient to slow down global warming introduced

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


AN ACTIVE ingredient that makes plastic bags oxo-biodegradable as it undergoes biodegradation and fragmentation was introduced to the Davao City market on Wednesday.

Known as Biomate, the ingredient is distributed by Manila-based First in Colors Incorporated (FiC).

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Dennis Bernardo, technical and sales representative of Chemrez Technologies -- an affiliate of FiC, said the creation of Biomate is timely against climate change.

"We do not want another Ondoy. That is why we are formulating green chemistry that designs chemical products and processes that eliminate the use of hazardous substances," he said.

Conventional plastics like polyethylene and polypropylene will subsist in the environment for decades unless they are made oxo-biodegradable.

"Oxo-biodegradable undergoes degradation by oxidation and this technology is based on the addition of small amounts of pro-degradant additives during the plastic conversion process into finished products," Bernardo said during Wednesday's Club 888 forum at Marco Polo Hotel Davao.

Noli Q. Jimenez, product manager of Biomate, said the use of paper bags and plastic bags utilizes seven times more fuel and creates seven times more pollution and traffic congestion.

He said oxo-biodegradable plastics are better than paper bags because the production of paper bags causes 70 percent more atmospheric pollution than plastic bags. The production of paper bag uses 300 percent more energy than plastic bags.

Oxo-biodegradable plastics degrade in two step process: (1) the plastic fragments due to oxidation resulting from the interaction of UV, heat, moisture and the pro-degradant catalyst; (2) the plastic biodegrades after attaining a molecular structure suited for consumption by micro-organisms.

Ultimately, the plastic is converted by the micro-organisms into carbon dioxide, water and humus.

Oxo-biodegradable plastics are recyclable, do not generate methane, and do not generate harmful residues because they have a finite life.

Some local government units in the mainland have established an ordinance banning the use of plastic bags as it is one of reasons for the metro's pollution.

According to Wikipedia website, climate change is caused by the Green House Effect that means there is a rise in temperature because certain gases in the atmosphere (water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane, for example) trap energy from the sun.

FiC said Biomate will help protect the environment and slow down the earth's risk to global warming. (Carmelle Marie Harrow)