Introducing Smart Plastic

The best solution to plastic pollution.

Making ordinary plastic intelligent

Reduce your environmental impact on the world today.

What is d2w?

d2w is the brand for controlled-life plastic technology which is designed to control the life of ordinary plastic products. d2w is a carefully researched and tested additive formulation which is added to ordinary plastic at the extrusion or casting stage of manufacture.

d2w oxo-biodegradable plastics has a pre-programmed life. There is little or no extra costs. During its service-life, the properties of ordinary plastics such as strength, flexibility, printability, sealability, processing temperatures and speed are not affected at all. Almost all kinds of plastics – not just carrier bags! Only 1% dosage (for most plastics) is required and d2w products can be made with the same machinery and workforce as before, with no need to change suppliers too.

At the end of its useful service life, the process of oxo-biodegradation starts and the plastic will eventually be broken down into water, carbon dioxide and biomass. The plastic will degrade and then biodegrade in the dark or sunlight, heat of cold, land or sea, leaving NO fragment, NO methane, NO harmful residues thus avoiding pollution and damage to the environment and wildlife.

No compromise in strength or quality

Just as strong and looks the same as ordinary plastics!

In its commitment to quality standards, Symphony’s Technical Department in UK carries out assessment of each inquiry, issues specific recommendations to the manufacturers, conducts laboratory tests in accordance to international standards and issues reports to all customers.

Food safe

Smart plastics used throughout a wide spectrum of industries has been tested, and proven safe for food, medical, farming and many other applications. It complies with the requirements by multiple food regulations such as The European Union 2002/72/EEC regulations for Direct Food-contact and all amendments, and the FDA American requirements for direct food-contact materials.

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Limitless application

From all kinds of bags, films to packaging, from short-life to longer-life plastics, d2w additives can convert your ordinary plastics to smart plastics easily. The additives can be formulated to meet your specifications. For example, a toiletry container in a hotel may require a useful life of five years before beginning to lose its strength whereas a bread bag may only require a month.

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Compliance & certification

Symphony participates actively in the British, European, American, and ISO (worldwide) standards organisations.

Suitable for food contact

The European Union 2002/72/EEC regulations, FDA American requirements, CFIA Canadian requirements, Brazilian ANVISA requirements and UAE Standards UAE.S5009/2009 (Approved).

Degradable

ASTM standard D6954, British Standard 8472 and ISO 4892/2, ISO 4892/3.

Biodegradable

ISO 17556 Applus (Spain), PYXIS (UK), University of Pisa (Italy), RAPRA (UK) and UFSCar / UNESP (Brasil), SPI Sweden, AFNOR AC T 51-808 (France).

Non-Ecotoxic

OECD 208 and EN13432 - tested by independent laboratories Applus and OWS (Belgium).

Chemicals free

Absence of restricted chemicals according to REACH directive.

Certified

Oxo-biodegradable Plastic Association.

What do you see in a supermarket?

Plastics – not just carrier bags, but almost everything is wrapped or bottled in plastics. At the back of the stores, there are acres of shrink-wrap, pallet-wrap and bubble-wrap used to deliver goods in bulk.

Why?

Because plastics in most cases is the most economical and best way to protect goods from contamination, damage and wastage.

Plastic that don’t last forever

d2w makes plastic biodegrade in the same way as a leaf.

Physical signs of degradation

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Tensile-elongation under UV

Accelerated ageing

Symphony’s d2w technology causes a process called oxo-biodegradation. This process shortens the life of the everyday plastic products so they don’t lie or float around for decades.

How it works

The technology behind d2w Smart Plastic.

1

d2w at the start of manufacturing stage

d2w additive is added at the start of the manufacturing process. Polymer resins are hydrocarbons. Their molecular backbones are constructed of hydrogen atoms bonded together by carbon atoms in long entangled chains. It is these long chains that provide flexibility, strength and significantly preventing oxygen from attaching to the carbon and hydrogen atoms.

2

Oxidation stage

d2w contains a catalyst that will break the long chains. At the end of the service life of the product, d2w causes a break-down of the molecular chain of the polymer. The molecular weight of the polymer quickly descends from around 200,000 Daltons to 100,000 Daltons, becoming brittle and disintegrate into tiny flakes. The molecular mass descend rapidly to below 40,000 Daltons and at that stage, the material effectively becomes water wettable and micro-organisms can access the carbon and hydrogen.

3

Biodegradation stage

When micro-organisms can access the carbon and hydrogen, this stage can be accurately be described as biodegradation. At this point, the material is no longer plastic and they are bio-assimilated the same way as natural waste such as leaves. This process continues on land or water. It is accelerated by ultra violet light, heat and the open environment. It does not need to be composted. d2w does not contain heavy metals. The process leaves plastics totally degraded leaving only harmless residues of CO2, H2O and biomass.

Where did the plastic go? It degraded into CO2, H2O and Biomass.

Facts

Every year, approximately 200 million tons of plastic is produced globally.

Every year, more than 500 billion plastic bags are produced globally.

Plastic is a fantastic material, versatile, strong, lightweight and flexible.

But it can hang around in our environment for decades after it has reached the end of its useful life.

3R + Rethink

Responsible use of plastic.

Reduce

Which material can hold 2,500 times of its own weight? A plastic bag. d2w can help to reduce the burden of persistent plastic pollution in the environment.

Reuse

d2w based products can be re-used many times during their service-life. There is no compromise to the strength or quality of the product.

Recycle

d2w based products can be recycled and made from recycled plastic polymers. It can be recycled together with conventional oil-based polymers and hence, no need for waste separation.

Why must it be oxo-biodegradable

Oxo-plastic offers numerous advantages over different solutions.

d2w additives upgrade (not replace) ordinary plastics to meet the environmental and sustainability standards of the world today. Choose d2w.
Read more about the Life Cycle Environmental Impacts of different carrier bags.

Oxo-biodegradable

  • d2w improves the excellent properties of ordinary plastic by controlling and reducing its lifespan and therefore making it more acceptable.
  • Can be re-used and recycled in the same way as ordinary plastic.
  • No change in performance and optical properties of the ordinary plastic product.
  • Low cost, because products made with d2w comprise more than 99.5% normal polymer and are made with the same machines.
  • Can be tested according to ASTM D6954.
  • No harmful residues.

Ordinary plastic

  • Used throughout industry. Tested and proven safe for food, medical, farming and many other applications.
  • Can be re-used.
  • Will eventually degrade to CO2 and H2O but can take many decades.
  • Will not meet any degradability or biodegradability standards.
  • Can be recycled, though stabilisers will normally be required to replace properties lost during the recycling process.
  • Made from a by-product of oil, so nobody is importing extra oil to make it.

Hydro-biodegradable plastics are sometimes called also bio-based plastics, or compostable plastics which can comply with the composting standards such as EN13432, ASTM D6400, D6868, ISO17088 and Australian Standards 4736-06.

Read more about the Life Cycle Environmental Impacts of different carrier bags.

Oxo-biodegradable

  • Usually made from a by-product of oil or natural gas.
  • Can be recycled as part of a ordinary plastic waste-stream.
  • Can be made from recyclate.
  • Emits CO2 slowly while degrading.


  • Inert deep in landfill.
  • Can use same machinery and workforce as for conventional plastic.
  • Suitable for use in high-speed machinery.
  • Compostable in-vessel.
  • Little or no on-cost.
  • Same strength as conventional plastic.
  • Same weight as conventional plastic.
  • Leak-proof.
  • Degrades anywhere on land or sea.
  • Time to degrade can be set at manufacture.
  • No genetically modified ingredients.
  • Safe for food contact.
  • No PCB's Organo-chlorines, or "heavy metals".
  • Can be incinerated with high energy-recovery.
  • Production uses no fertilisers, pesticides or water.
  • No limit on availability of feedstock.
  • Demand for oxo-biodegradable plastics does not drive up cost of fuel for vehicles.

Hydro-biodegradable

  • Usually made from vegetable products such as starch.
  • Damages recyclate unless extracted from feedstock.
  • Cannot be made from recyclate.
  • Emits CO2 rapidly while degrading. As 90% of it must convert to CO2 within 180 days in order to comply with the Standards for compostable plastic, these plastics contribute to climate change but do not improve the soil.
  • Emits methane deep in landfill.
  • Needs special machinery and workforce.
  • Usually not suitable.
  • Compostable (but not for home composting).
  • Four or five times more expensive than conventional plastic.
  • Weaker than conventional plastic (unless mixed with oil-based plastic).
  • Thicker and Heavier.
  • Prone to leakage.
  • Degrades only in high-microbial environment.
  • Cannot be controlled.
  • Possibility of GM ingredients.
  • Safe for food contact.
  • No PCB's Organo-chlorines, or "heavy metals".
  • Can be incinerated, but lower calorific value.
  • Production uses fertilisers, pesticides and water.
  • Limited availability of feedstock.
  • Demand for hydro-biodegradable plastics drives up price of human and animal foodstuffs.

Paper bag

Imagine a squashed tomato in a paper bag!

The paper bag was in effect the first “disposable” carrier bag, but was superseded in the 1970s by plastic carrier bags which were seen as the perfect alternative, as they did not tear when wet.

Paper bags are heavier and thicker. 1,000 paper bags may be 2 feet high, as compared to 1,000 plastic bags which may only be 2 inch high. This results in 7 times higher in number of trucks (giving rise to factors relating to global warming) and higher storage space.

To reduce its global warming potential to below that of an oxo-biodegradable bag or ordinary plastic bag, it has to be re-used up to 9 times. However, as paper bags tear easily, it is unlikely that it can be re-used regularly. More importantly, paper bags is far worse than ordinary plastics in terms of human toxicity and terrestrial eco-toxicity due to the effect of paper production which requires a high amount of water and electricity and pollution issues related to air, water and solid wastes. It is a MYTH that paper bag is a more “environmentally friendly” option when compared to plastic bags. A better option is smart plastics.

Read more about the Life Cycle Environmental Impacts of different carrier bags.

Reusable bag

Re-usable bags are mostly made of woven cotton textile. Cotton bags are far thicker and heavier, when compared to plastic bags. One 20 foot-container can pack 30,000 cotton bags as compared to 2.5 million plastic bags in the same space. Therefore, cotton bags will be more expensive in terms of costs, transportation and storage.

Cotton textile has high impact on all environmental categories due to cotton growing and the effect of cotton production / processing which requires a high amount of electricity and water, and pollution issues related to air, water and solid wastes. To reduce its global warming potential to below that of an oxo-biodegradable bag or ordinary plastic bag, cotton bag has to be re-used up to 393 times.

Long-term reusable bags is relatively unhygienic. Imagine carrying chilli powder or chicken meat in a cotton bag! Research by Guelph Chemical Laboratories in Canada in 2008 has shown that "re-usable grocery bags can become an active microbial habitat and a breeding-ground for bacteria, yeast, mold, and coliforms. The unacceptable presence of coliforms suggests that forms of E.Coli associated with severe disease could be present in a small but significant proportion of the bags."

The Environment and Plastics Industry Council of Canada commissioned a study on re-usable bags in 2009 which found that 64% of the bags showed bacterial contamination. Almost 30% had bacterial counts higher than those considered safe for drinking water. They noted that although in theory these bags can be cleaned, it is difficult to thoroughly dry them without encouraging microbial growth.

Recently, jute bags are also used as re-usable bags which are better in strength as compared to cotton bags yet even heavier and thicker. Some jute bags have a thin layer of plastic lining the inner part in order to protect the bag from getting soiled. Symphony encourages the plastic lining to be made anti-bacterial using d2p as protection against transmission of bacterial through contact with everyday items.

Read more about the Life Cycle Environmental Impacts of different carrier bags.

Life Cycle Assessment

Studies were commissioned by the UK Government (Environment Agency) to assess the life cycle environment Impacts of the production, use and disposal of different carrier bags for the UK. In 2008. Approximately 10 billion lightweight carrier bags were given away in UK which works out to 10 bags a week for household (DEFRA 2009).

Life Cycle Assessment 2011 (Intertek LCA 2011, 3.2mb pdf) was carried out by an independent organization, Intertek Expert Services for different type of bags. The study found some interesting evidence:

  • The environmental impact is dominated by resource use and production stages. This refers to the growing process, land use and production process of which paper, cotton, jute and starch-polyester blend bags are most affected by and hence, has the highest carbon footprint and abiotic depletion.
  • Transport, secondary packaging and end-of-life management generally have a minimal influent on their performance.
  • The key to reducing the carbon footprint is to reuse it and where not practicable, secondary re-use (to replace bin liners for rubbish). A total of 40.3% of conventional HDPE bags avoided the use of bin liners.
  • Compostable bags have a higher carbon footprint and abiotic depletion than conventional plastic bags due both to the increased weight and higher material production impacts.
  • Recycling and composting generally produce only a small reduction in carbon footprint.
  • The paper and cotton bags should be reused at least 4 and 173 times respectively to ensure that they have lower carbon footprint than conventional HDPE bags (reused as bin liners).

An independent Life Cycle Assessment study (Intertek LCA 2012, 1.3mb pdf) for lightweight carrier bags was carried out by Intertek Expert Services in 2012 commissioned by Symphony. The study covered conventional HDPE bag, d2w oxo-biodegradable bag and bio-based (compostable) bag.

The study found the following evidence:

  • The conventional bag and d2w oxo-biodegradable bag were found to be the same in all environmental impact categories (any differences were well under 1%), except in the litter category where the oxo-biodegradable bag was 75% better.
  • The carbon footprint of a conventional or oxo-biodegradable carrier bag was found to be 26.9 grams CO2 eq per bag or 3.3 kg CO2 eq. per kilogram. The bio-based bag’s carbon footprint is 39 grams CO2 eq. per bag, 45% higher than the conventional and oxo-biodegradable bags.
  • The inclusion of 50% recycled content in the conventional and oxo-biodegradable bags would reduce their impact by 19% in terms of GWP but would have a negative impact on 7 of the other environmental impact categories due to increased shipping.
  • The bio-based bag was the worst option in 10 of the 11 environmental impact categories due to its higher bag weight and thickness, increased energy consumption, greater transportation and higher end of life impacts.

Plastics can take up to 400 years to break down.

Smart Plastic is ready

d2w Smart Plastic is the value-added technology with many benefits. And it’s available to use.

  • When d2w is added at manufacture it turns ordinary plastic at the end of its useful life in the presence of oxygen into a material with a different molecular structure. At that stage it is no longer a plastic and has become a material which is inherently biodegradable in the open environment in the same way as a leaf. Differently from hydro-biodegradable and ordinary plastics, d2w enables carbon to retain to the soil.
  • Releases carbon based organic materials back into the eco-system.
  • d2w will meet the new British Standard No 8472, ASTM D6954, UAE 5009:2009 and AFNOR AC T 51-808.
  • Harmlessly self-destruct within the timescale specified.
  • Can be made using existing machinery and workforce, at little or no extra cost.
  • d2w will not degrade prematurely.
  • Until it degrades it is just as strong and serviceable as conventional plastic.
  • Safe for food contact.
  • Can be recycled and can be made from recyclate.
  • Addition rate of 1–2%.

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