oxo-biodegradable plastics

biodegradables & oxo-biodegradable – oxo-degradable plastics are mainly made up of plastics with additives.

what are oxo-biodegradable plastics?

Oxo-biodegradable materials are mainly made of standard conventional plastics such as PE, PP, PET etc. with some “special” additives. These additives are catalytic materials which help the products to biodegrade in a two-step process: oxidation and then biodegradation. 

These catalytic materials are usually based on transition metals of cobalt (Co), magnesium (Mg), or manganese (Mn), zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), or nickel (Ni) into the polymer. These metal ions are susceptible to light, heat, moisture, and mechanical stress and as such, weaken the tensile strength of the polymer chain.

But, with various types of catalytic additives incorporated into different plastics, the degree and the rate of degradation differs significantly. Therefore, standard tests should be carried out in the products made of oxo-biodegradable in order to understand and verify the biodegradation process. 

The most popular methods to assess the biodegradability of oxo-biodegradables is through exposing them under standard light and heat conditions using accelerated weathering chambers.  The tests are standardised and presented on the following:


  1. ASTM D5071 – 06(2013): Standard Practice for Exposure of Photodegradable Plastics in a Xenon Arc Apparatus – oxo-photo biodegradable
  2. ASTM D5208 – 14: Standard Practice for Fluorescent Ultraviolet (UV) Exposure of Photodegradable Plastics – oxo-photo biodegradable.


We can work with you to design the best test programme for your product, get in touch today.


Why impact?

impact are a one stop shop. Our team have over 120 years of combined experience in the testing industry and can advise you on what type of accelerated weathering testing you need. No matter the question, product, or standard, contact us today for guidance on testing for your product. With our UKAS accreditation, we can test to anything that falls within the boundaries of our extensive flexible scope. impact will always do their best to help you with your testing needs and our experienced weathering consultant, Jo, will advise you on the best method of testing.

plastic testing experts