Topco Authorizes Use of SMART Oxo-Biodegradable Additive in All Durabag Production

Topco Authorizes Use of SMART Oxo-biodegradable Additive In All Durabag Production

(Wheeling, Illinois) October 27, 2016- Smart Plastic Technologies, LLC, a specialist in the development, production and marketing of unique additives for use in polymers which provide biodegradation, antimicrobial, antifungal and anticounterfeit properties in finished products, is pleased to announce that existing customer Topco Associates has authorized its plastic bag supplier, Durabag, to immediately include SMART Oxo-biodegradable additive in all bags produced for Topco members.

Topco Associates LLC is a privately held $5 billion company that provides innovative business solutions for its food industry member-owners and customers.

With the exception of one California based member, the agreement provides for the exclusive use of the SPT Oxo-biodegradable additive in all carrier bags produced by Durabag for Topco members. Topco provided approximately 10 billion carrier bags to their members in 2015. Production of the bags will be staged on a producer-based basis which will provide a steady increase of business to SPT.

“We are pleased to have reached this milestone so rapidly. We look forward to moving on to the next Topco producer in the immediate future. Soon, the SMART logo will appear on tens of millions of plastic shopper bags.” said Mike Ricciardi, CEO of SPT.

Smart Plastic Technologies Announces Latin American Sales Representation Agreement with Varcomsa

Smart Plastic Technologies Announces Latin America Sales Representation Agreement with Varcomsa

(Wheeling, Illinois) October 17, 2016- Smart Plastic Technologies, LLC, a specialist in the development, production and marketing of unique additives for use in polymers which provide biodegradation, antimicrobial, antifungal and anticounterfeit properties in finished products, is pleased to announce that it has reached a multi-national sales representation agreement with Varcomsa of Guatemala.

Varcomsa is a member of a family of commercial enterprises with locations in Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Panama. Sales representation will occur in all locations. Varcomsa will introduce SMART brand products to a range of industries.

“We have known the principles of Varcomsa for many years and are pleased to have the opportunity to work with them.” said Mike Ricciardi, CEO of SPT.

How much oil is used to make plastic?


It is often stated that oil is drilled for making plastic. This is not correct. How much oil is used to make plastic?

Although crude oil is a source of raw material (feedstock) for making plastics, it is not the major feedstock for plastics production in the United States. Natural gas is used for process heat in the production of precursor chemicals and plastics and as a feedstock for those precursor chemicals.

The primary feedstock for U.S. petrochemical crackers are hydrocarbon gas liquids (HGL), of which 82% were by-products of natural gas processing.

Plastics are produced from natural gas, feedstocks derived from natural gas processing, and feedstocks (Naphtha) derived from crude oil refining.

Petrochemical feedstock naphtha and other oils refined from crude oil are used as feedstock for petrochemical crackers that produce the basic building blocks for making plastics.

Every barrel of crude oil extracted contains a range of materials suitable for different applications. The major components derived are petroleum and diesel oils – naphtha- which is the precursor to plastic production- is a minor component- depending on region -around 3-4% of the total.

Recycling Oxo-Biodegradable Plastics

It’s ok to recycle Oxo-Biodegradable (but not biobased) plastic

On 18th  November, European Plastic Converters (“EuPC”) published a Report on recyclability of biodegradable plastics by the Austrian Transfercenter für Kunststofftecknik GmbH (“TCKT”). The Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association requested an analysis of this report by the Roediger specialist laboratory at Stellenbosch, South Africa, and the analysis is now published on the OPA website at’13.pdf

The Roediger analysis concludes that the TCKT report is confused, and that “it needs to be clearly understood that there are two very different types of biodegradable plastic products:

  1. “Compostable” – (also loosely known as “bio-based plastics” or “bioplastics”)

and  designed according to EN13432 to biodegrade in industrial composting, and

  1. Oxo-biodegradable – made from petroleum-derived polymers such as PE and PP, containing special ingredients (which do not include “heavy-metals”) designed according to ASTM D6954 to degrade and biodegrade in the open environment leaving no harmful residues.

TCKT tested four samples, of which three were bio-based and compostable. Only one of them (DEG2) was non-biobased and degradable, but it is not properly described. It is not therefore known what type of polymer was used, how old the sample was, nor which additive had been included in the polymer, nor at what concentration within the polymer. There is no explanation as to how the author assessed whether DEG2 was biodegradable. Roediger laboratories’ conclusion is that:

  1. The TCKT report confirms that bio-based “compostable” plastics can NOT be safely recycled together with oil-based plastics in a post-consumer waste stream, but
  2. There is no reason to change their view after extensive tests in 2012 that plastic products made with oxo-biodegradable technology may be recycled together with conventional oil-based polymers without the need for separation and without any significant detriment to the newly-formed recycled product.

Roediger points out that “oxo-biodegradation is defined by CEN in TR15351 as “degradation resulting from oxidative and cell-mediated phenomena, either simultaneously or successively”  and that “Whilst described in the TCKT report as “oxo-fragmentable,” and sometimes described in non-scientific literature as “oxo-degradable” this describes only the first or oxidative degradation phase. These descriptions should not be used for material which degrades by the process of oxo-biodegradation defined by CEN, and the correct description is


The Roediger report notes that “Oxo-biodegradation of polymer material has been studied in depth in many scientific studies, most recently at the Technical Research Institute of Sweden and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. An independently peer-reviewed report of the work was published in Vol 96 of the journal of Polymer Degradation & Stability (2011) at page 919-928. It shows 91% biodegradation in a soil environment within 24 months, when tested in accordance with ISO 17556.”

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