Oxo Biodegradable Bag Test


Oxo Day 0 

In an effort to stymie plastic pollution, new supposedly compostable "bioplastics" are being engineered. While some of these bioplastics are claiming to be "100 percent compostable," testing at Woods End Labs has found that most of these claims are misleading, at best. (See The Truth About Biodegradable Plastics to read more about Woods End's bioplastics testing and findings.)

In response to the Woods End test, one reader (under the name Eco-Oxo) posted in the comments section of the article that Oxo bags aren't designed to break down under composting conditions. Eco-Oxo says that the Oxo bags will break down when exposed to oxygen and heat, such as if they were left out on the ground or taped to a fence for a few months.

Having already tested several of these bags (including Oxo brand and other brands that claim to biodegrade) in home composting conditions for its original tests, Woods End Labs agreed to run another test exactly as Eco-Oxo suggests: Attach the bag to a fence and watch what happens over the next few months. 

So that you can follow along as the test progresses, we’ll post updates and photos here. For the first installment, check out the photo (at left) from Day 0 of the test, with an Oxo bag and a regular grocery store bag (non-biodegradable, included as a control in the experiment) tacked to a fence and left outside. Over the months to come, check back here and watch with us as we see how things pan out with both bags.

 Oxo Biodegradable Bag Test: Week 3 


Tim Dunn_2
8/19/2010 1:40:05 PM

I have posted an extensive discussion of the different plastic technologies designed to biodegrade at http://earthnurture.com , their environmental costs, and the conditions under which they will biodegrade.

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