Your bag’s natural biological breakdown is a process of oxidation where the polymer breaks down via chain breaking to form smaller oxidised polymer chains (mineralised biomass) which then break down further to carbon dioxide and water. Hydropol does not yield any harmful products in any stage of breakdown and biodegradation.
In this case of polymer degradation, the term mineralisation indicates a natural biological breakdown step of the carbon in the polymer to carbon dioxide and water. So, via a process of oxidation the polymer breaks down via chain breaking to form smaller oxidised polymer chains (mineralised biomass) which then break down further to carbon dioxide and water. Hydropol does not yield any harmful products in any stage of breakdown and biodegradation.
A polymer is a large molecule formed by connecting many smaller molecules called monomers. For example, polymers can be naturally occurring in starch or cellulose or can be man-made, like plastic.
A hydrophilic polymer is a water liking polymer and this is the feature which allows it to degrade harmlessly, leaving behind no toxic microplastics.
Please see our ‘technology’ section for downloadable reports.
1. Determination of biobased content: CEN/TS 16137; ASTM D6866
2. Composability: EN 14995; EN13432; ASTM D6400; ISO 17088; AS4736; ISO18606; ASTM D6868
3. Anaerobic Digestion: ISO 15985; ASTM D5511
4. Soil: ISO 17556
5. Freshwater: ISO 13975; EN14987
6. Landfill: ASTM D 5526
7. Aerobic wastewater & sewage sludge: EN14851; EN14852
8. Anaerobic wastewater: EN14853
9. Marine: ASTM D6691; OK Marine; ISO 18830 (floating); ISO 19679 (sediment)
10. Recycling: ISO 15270 Guidelines for the recovery and recycling of plastics waste
11. Plastic waste: EN15347
Fashion’s polybags are made from polythelene, a hydrophobic polymer which takes decades to hundreds of years to turn into microplastics, which forever remain in our environment. Garment Bags made with Hydropol will cause no harm at all at the end of their life cycle, even if they did end up in nature or in the ocean.
Yes, Hydropol can be recycled if the material is identified by methods such as infra-red laser sorting, or it can be seprated using hot washes to recover Hydropol in a solution state. Once in solution, the polymer can be recovered and re-used in the right facilities.
Yes, they can be home composted or industrially composted. For home composting the key is that water should be present – in very dry countries the biodegradation will take longer as less water will be in contact with the Hydropol.
If I dissolve my garment bag in hot water, can I safely pour the residue down the drain?
The base polymer has been used for many years in applications where the disposal route is through the waste water system and there are no reported problems. This is the fastest way to dispose of the bag.
We are well aware of the problem of plastic in our oceans and our technology is one of few which solve this. First, no marine life will come to harm if taking a bite of one of your accidentally discarded bags, they are non toxic and marine safe. As soon as the bag is in water it will start it’s degradation process. It will also start to slowly sink. The speed of degradation will depend on the environmental factors but average is 12 months.
Microplastics are simply small pieces of plastic, defined in 2009 as “plastic particles smaller than 5mm in size”.
Depending on the environment, Hydropol in solid form may break down to small particles but without the formation of toxins or the subsequent absorption of toxins associated with traditional plastics. These small particles will not persist in the environment unlike conventional plastics whose long lasting hydrophobic micro-particles absorb and concentrate toxins. When in solution Hydropol cannot form microplastics.
By its nature Aquapak’s base polymers are inherently biodegradable and there is a large amount of historical work undertaken by academic and other researchers in this area detailing the microorganisms which breakdown the polymer in various conditions.
The base polymer has been used for many years in applications where the disposal route is through the waste water system and there are no reported problems, and this has been confirmed by a historical literature review as well as work conducted at two UK Universities on Hydropol film.
The work undertaken so far by independent laboratories including the OK Marine certification scheme indicates that Hydropol is non-toxic to marine species which would include animals like turtles. The mechanism of breakdown would also decrease the possibility of marine animals accumulating levels which would be harmful unlike most conventional plastics.