March 2006

Material works like plastic but composts harmlessly

Cortec® research chemists have developed a new, biodegradable and compostable material that provides plastic-like qualities during use and provides 100% biodegradability turning into water and carbon dioxide during commercial composting. Named Eco Works® 70, the new material does not contain polyethylene or starch. It is based heavily on annually-renewable, biobased polyester from American corn.

Eco Works® 70 offers properties superior to traditional non-biodegradable plastics without sacrificing biodegradability or compostability. During use, products fabricated with Eco Works® 70 have excellent resistance to moisture and heat. Unlike some compostable products, Eco Works® 70 products are shelf stable. Eco Works® 70 can be fabricated into a wide variety of products from flexible sheeting for carry-out bags and protective wrap to rigid sheeting for “plastic” credit cards, phone cards and identification cards. Suitable for fabrication in a variety of film thicknesses and forms, it offers the first universal, biodegradable and biobased replacement to LDPE, LLDPE and HDPE for films, bags, and molded “plastic” and polyethylene products that meets or exceeds performance specifications of traditional plastics.

Cortec’s latest advancement in biodegradable plastic technologies offers retailers, agricultural users, municipalities, and institutions a better “plastic” material that is not tied entirely to the price or availability of oil. Less costly than many products based solely on petroleum-based raw materials, Eco Works® 70 enables significant labor savings for processors that receive organic material from schools, restaurants and curb-side programs. For growers and gardeners, it replaces plastic sheeting without leaving detrimental plastic residue to slowly choke fertile ground. It allows users to present a more environmentally positive image.

Eco Works® 70 conforms to domestic and international compostability standards including ASTM D 6400-99 and DIN V 54 900 and can carry logos issued by DIN CERTO and BPI to give users confidence in the commercial compostability of the products after use.


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