EconoGreen Plastics by Jig-A-Loo
11 common myths about oxodegradable bags Bookmark and Share


All biodegradable products are eco-friendly.

It may come as a surprise to some people but there are some biodegradable products that leave toxic residues behind. If you’re concerned about the environment, we suggest doing some research before you make a decision so you can be confident about your purchase. For example, some compostable bags made from bio-based materials can generate methane, which is harmful for the environment.

Oxodegradable bags contain dangerous heavy metals.

First off, all plastics (including bio-plastics) contain detectable levels of metals. However, the quantity in oxodegradable plastics is far from being dangerous and the types of metals aren’t really considered “heavy”. In fact, the metals in question are iron and other minerals – the same ones that you’d find in your daily vitamins.

Oxodegradable bags only break down to small particles and do not biodegrade.

There is plenty of scientific evidence from numerous laboratories showing that the fragments biodegrade. The additive in oxodegradable bags causes the plastic to degrade just enough for microbes to safely ingest it, fulfilling the biodegradation process, ultimately leaving behind CO2, water and biomass.

Oxodegradable products biodegrade, just not in landfills.

Oxodegradable products will degrade in landfills if they are exposed to air and sunlight. However, they will not degrade in landfills that isolate the trash from the environment (groundwater, air, rain). In that case, there is very little exposure to oxygen and moisture, both of which are needed to break down the plastic.

Oxodegradable bags create methane gas, known to be more harmful to the environment.

EconoGreen Plastics™ oxodegradable bags do not create methane gas. The fact is they require oxygen to degrade. Methane production by microorganisms requires the absence of oxygen.

Moisture stops the oxidation process.

This was true when some of the first oxodegradable bags were introduced to North America but our extensive research and development has led us to develop a unique additive that actually accelerates the process of oxidation when the bag is exposed to moisture.

Eco-friendly bags are more expensive than regular garbage bags.

The truth is EconoGreen Plastics™ bags are priced about the same as most of the national brands of regular plastic garbage bags available on the market. In some cases they are actually more affordable. After all, why pay more to do your part for the environment?

Oxodegradable products are a major problem for plastic recyclers.

EconoGreen Plastics™ products are 100% recyclable. Although they start degrading after approximately 2 years when exposed to oxygen, the bags are very unlikely to degrade after that time-trigger when mixed with other plastics because the oxodegradable plastics will only be a small part of the overall mix.

Oxodegradable bags don’t degrade as fast as compostable bags.

Compostable bags usually degrade at least 60% within 180 days, while oxodegradable bags take between 6 months to 5 years to degrade (depending on where they’ve been disposed). By comparison, EconoGreen Plastics™ bags start breaking down after approximately 2 years. While that may seem long, we’ve factored in the overall product life span (production, transportation to retailers, storage time, shelf time, the time it stays in consumers cupboard, etc.) to give you a product that will degrade when you need it to and not a moment before.

All plastic bags break down naturally.

Nobody knows for sure the answer to this question. Plastic bags have only been around for a few decades. Some experts estimate it could take 400 to 1,000 years to break down, while others question if plastic bags ever break down at all. In contrast, EconoGreen Plastics™ bags degrade after 2 years with no reduction in the quality of the bag. Plus, our bags won’t leave any harmful residue.

ASTM D-6400 and ASTM D-6954-04 are the main standards for oxodegradability.

Right now, there’s no standard in North America for oxodegradable bags. ASTM D-6400 is the main standard for compostable bags. In order to comply with this standard, a compostable must be made from non-toxic components or by-products, it also needs to disintegrate within a short time frame and mineralize in 90 days (as measured by CO2 evolution in lab composting conditions). ASTM D-6954-04 is a guideline and test method used by the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations to test the oxidative and thermal biodegradation of plastic. It does not have pass/fail criteria. Many people try to include degradation, biodegradation, and compostability in one category, but they have different life cycles and require different procedures to reach their desired results.