What is Oxo-Degradable?
Oxo-biodegradable (because it degrades by oxidation/oxygen) is almost exactly the same as conventional plastic, but it converts itself at the end of its useful life in the presence of oxygen into a biodegradable material.
The only difference between “oxo-biodegradable” plastic and petroleum based plastic is the presence of an oxo-formulated additive in concentrations of 1-3% (metal salts) within the petroleum based plastic. This additive allows the petroleum based plastics to degrade in the presence of oxygen, light, heat and moisture.
Oxo-biodegradable plastic is designed to degrade in the open environment and this short timeframe of biodegradation is not necessary. Furthermore, a high rate of conversion is not desirable because the conversion to greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide contribute to the warming of the atmosphere, hole in the ozone layer and depletion of carbon available for the soil.