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Assessment of the Decomposition of Oxo- and Biodegradable Packaging Using FTIR Spectroscopy

The strength and resistance of plastics at the end of their service life can hinder their degradation. The solution to this problem may be materials made of biodegradable and oxo-biodegradable plastics. The aim of this research was to determine the degree and nature of changes in the composition and structure of composted biodegradable and oxo-biodegradable bags. The research involved shopping bags and waste bags available on the Polish market. The composting of the samples was conducted in an industrial composting plant. As a result of the research, only some of the composted samples decomposed. After composting, all samples were analysed using FTIR (Fourier Transformation Infrared) spectroscopy. Carbonyl index and hierarchical cluster analysis method was used to detect similarities between the spectra of the new samples. The analysis of the obtained results showed that FTIR spectroscopy is a method that can be used to confirm the degradation and detect similarities in the structure of the analysed materials. The analysis of spectra obtained with the use of FTIR spectroscopy indicated the presence of compounds that may be a potential source of compost contamination. Plastics with certificates confirming their biodegradability and compostability should be completely biodegradable, i.e., each element used in their production should be biodegradable and safe for the environment.

Publication date: 27/10/2021

Author: Florentyna Markowicz

Reference: doi: 10.3390/ma14216449

MDPI (materials)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.