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2011 | 13 | 1 | 55-57

Article title

A preliminary study of the degradation of selected commercial packaging materials in compost and aqueous environments


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The paper presents the results of the degradation of two commercial packaging materials CONS-PET and BioPlaneta in the compost and distilled water at 70°C. The materials containing polylactide (PLA), CONS-PET 13% and BioPlaneta 20%, aliphatic-aromatic copolyester terephthalic acid/adipic acid/1,4-butanediol (BTA) and commercial additives degraded under the industrial composting conditions (composting pile or container) and in distilled water at 70°C in the laboratory holding oven. Distilled water provided the conditions for the hydrolytic (abiotic) degradation of the materials. Weight loss, changes of molecular weight, dispersity monitored via the GPC technique and the macroscopic surface changes of the tested materials were monitored during the experiments. The investigated systems show similar trends of degradation, however on the last day of the incubation the decrease of the molecular weight was higher in water than under the industrial composting conditions. The results indicate that commercial packaging materials can be degraded both while composting ((bio)degradation) and during the incubation in distilled water at 70°C (abiotic hydrolysis).









Physical description


1 - 1 - 2011
17 - 3 - 2011


  • Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Sciences, M. C. Skłodowskiej 34, 41-819 Zabrze, Poland
  • Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Sciences, M. C. Skłodowskiej 34, 41-819 Zabrze, Poland
  • Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Sciences, M. C. Skłodowskiej 34, 41-819 Zabrze, Poland
  • Institute of Chemistry, Environment Protection and Biotechnology, Jan Długosz University, Armii Krajowej 13/15, 42-200 Częstochowa, Poland


  • Kikolski, P., Dłuska-Smolik, E. & Bolińska, A. (2005). Method of assessment of polymers biodegradability for investigation of their usability to organic recovery by composting. Polimery, 50 (3), 208-212 (in Polish).
  • Żakowska, H. (2002). Packaging wastes. Warszawa, COBRO (in Polish).
  • Adamus, G., Dacko, P., Musioł, M., Sikorska, W., Sobota, M., Biczak, R., Herman, B., Rychter, P., Krasowska, K., Rutkowska, M. & Kowalczuk M. (2006). Degradation of selected synthetic polyesters in natural conditions. Polimery, 51, 539-546 (in Polish).
  • Sikorska, W., Dacko, P., Sobota, M., Rydz, J., Musioł, M. & Kowalczuk, M. (2008). Degradation Study of Polymers from Renewable Resources and their Compositions in Industrial Composting Pile. Macromol. Symp., 272, 132-135 DOI: 10.1002/masy.200851219.[Crossref]
  • Rutkowska, M., Krasowska, K., Heimowska, A. & Kowalczuk, M. (2003). Degradation of the blends of natural and synthetic copolyesters in different natural environments. Macromol. Symp., 197, 421-429 DOI: 10.1002/masy.200350736.[Crossref]
  • Yang, H. S., Yoon, J. S. & Kim, M. N. (2004). Effects of storage of a mature compost on its potential for biodegradation of plastics. Polym. Degrad. Stab., 84 (3), 411-417 DOI: 10.1016/j.polymdegrastab.2004.01.014.[Crossref]
  • Kowalczuk, M. (2010) Paradigm of (bio)degradable polymers. Recykling, 2 (110) (in Polish).
  • Dacko, P., Rydz, J., Sikorska, W., Sobota, M. & Kowalczuk, M. (2008). Organic recycling of materials base on polymers from renewable resources. Problemy ekologii, 1, 39 (in Polish).
  • Sikorska W., Rydz, J., Sobota, M., Dacko, P., Kowalczuk, M. & Paradysz, W. (2009). Recycling of packaging materials under industrial composting condition. Technical Transactions. Mechanics, 106 (1-M), 313-316 (in Polish).

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