05. May 2017
Novamont’s carrier bags were shown to degrade completely when processed in German anaerobic digestion plants, found a German study. No bioplastic residue was found at the end of the composting process in any of the samples examined in the four test sites.
A scientific study conducted by IGlux Witzenhausen and Witzenhausen-Institut examined the use of biodegradable bags made from MATER-BI bioplastic. Tests were carried out at plants using equipment made by four different companies: Kompogas, Thoeni, Bekon and WTT.
The bags were monitored during pre-treatment, anaerobic digestion, post-composting and maturation at each plant. The percentage by weight of MATER-BI in the input material was between 3.5% and 3.8%. Degradation began during the anaerobic stage and was completed during composting. In total, the process took between five and ten weeks, depending on the plant.
No MATER-BI residue was found in any of the samples examined at the end of the test, demonstrating that it had completely degraded in all four plants.
The test was commissioned by Novamont in Germany, where organic waste plays a significant role in the national renewable energy plan and is increasingly used to produce biogas. Efficient collection of this type of waste is therefore crucial for recovering the most energy-rich component, namely kitchen waste. At present, however, even where separate collection of organic waste is in place, studies show that a significant percentage of organic waste is still sent to landfill.
The test was entirely successful, with complete degradation of MATER-BI carrier bags within the time normally needed for the process at all four plants, which are representative of the majority of anaerobic digestion facilities employed to process organic waste in Germany, eliminating any reservations about use of the bags.