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Environmental Commitment

Earth-Switch ®

What Comes From the Earth Goes Back to the Earth

Biodegradable Netting Technology that Works!

With our ever changing world it has become apparent that plastics are becoming more of a problem to our eco system and the effects it may have with our future generations.

Many plastic products produced are eventually sent to landfill, with that in mind it became evident to MasterNet that a new safe technology available in our product line would be required in order to fulfill these end of life conditions. Several technologies were tried and tested along with considerations on current national and international views with respect to what is considered safe and what is not. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has advised companies “that unqualified biodegradable claims are acceptable only if they have scientific evidence that their product will completely decompose within a reasonably short period of time (5 years) under customary methods of disposal.”

Masternet has taken the stand that many of the products we produce as well as our competitor’s products will eventually end up in landfill and thus decided to pursue technologies which allowed our products to degrade without heat or oxygen typical of landfill conditions and leave behind no toxic components.

Current common technologies used, namely “Oxo-Degradable” is an old technology which has been around for many years. This technology has had its share of criticism and low acceptance by Government agencies and will not degrade in landfill it merely breaks down with heat and oxygen then fragments. Additionally, the U.S. National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus recommends that advertisers discontinue claims such as “100% oxo-biodegradable” because such statements incorrectly suggest that a plastic will quickly or completely biodegrade with the help of these additives. In fact, the NAD and FTC have taken action against companies using the additive technology for “oxo-biodegradables” and using the word “biodegradable” for marketing purposes that have made false and unsubstantiated claims.

These additives are based on chemical catalysts containing transition metals such as cobalt, manganese, iron, etc., or on biological materials, which may cause fragmentation as a result of a chemical oxidation of the plastics‟ polymer chains triggered by ultraviolet irradiation or heat exposure. In a second phase, the resulting fragments are claimed to eventually undergo biodegradation.®

While there is chemical theory to support a very slow biodegradation process, the absence of light, presence of moisture or very low temperatures act as a dimmer switch for the process, resulting in a very slow or absent chemical process. In addition to additives that trigger the fragmentation process, the “oxo-biodegradables” include stabilizers, which are added to limit the unwanted fragmentation of the polymer chains while the plastic is used by consumers or as one could word it “program” the product. However, the stabilizing effect of the additives is limited.

Research studies have concluded that “even with some content of stabilizing additives, PE film [with oxo-biodegradable additives] loses its mechanical properties rather fast, especially when exposed to sun-light”. For this reason, different storage conditions would be required in order to prevent premature ageing and loss of mechanical properties for plastics containing “oxo-biodegradable” additives. It also must be noted that Oxo-Degradable technology does not allow the finished product to be reused and recycled as it would adversely affect the supply chain quality.

MasterNet’s Earth-Switch ® Technology uses a proprietary additive which when added to our resins and extruded into our net products produces a plastic net which will degrade underground with the absence of light, heat or oxygen and holds an indefinite shelf life with no underlying storage conditions. When compared to our standard netting all mechanical properties of the netting are left unchanged. The finished product is completely recyclable and can be reused.

Unlike ASTM D6400 which is a test to confirm biodegradation in commercial composting only and does not represent customary disposal in landfill, MasterNet has tested our Earth-Switch ® technology using ASTM D5511 a test designed to prove a more real world condition within landfill. This test procedure has been developed to permit the determination of the rate and degree of anaerobic biodegradability of plastic products. In other words; our netting will biodegrade when buried with no oxygen.

With any of the current technologies offered including Earth-Switch ® it must be understood that the process of biodegradation is reliant upon many factors, factors which cannot be controlled by the user or the manufacturer of the net. Thus if microbial communities do not exist within the soil then biodegradation will not take place. Presence of Bio gases from landfill sites proves that the biodegradation process is present, the speed at which items biodegrade is reliant upon the microbial community to consume and convert the items buried within.

Comparison of Products Produced with MasterNet’s

Earth-Switch ® to Alternative Products

  Earth-Switch ® Oxo- Degrader Bioplastics
For Biodegradation      
100% Biodegradable in landfill True False False
For Recycling      
100% Recyclable at any timer True

False

False
Compatible with the recycle stream True False False
For Properties  

 

 

No special storage conditions required True False False
Shelf life is indefinite True False False
Not degraded by exposure to heat, light or external stresses during storage, shipping, handling or user True False False
Degradation begins at the time of disposal - not before True False False
For Performance      
When compared to the original material in the application, physical properties are unchanged and no redesign of end product needed

True

False

False

UV or anti-oxidant additives are needed, inhibiting product performance False True False
Performance not negatively affected by over loading True False n/a
For the Environment      
No heavy metals, ecologically safe True False True
Degraded product returns to the environment not as small particles, but as biomass and humus True False True
For the Bottom Line      
Cost effective True False False

As growing environmental concerns are taking front and center in everyone’s minds, we’re taking steps to help lessen our own environmental impact.

Also MasterNet has made a commitment to buy only cartons & cores that are made with 100% recycled material.

No trees were cut to make our boxes !!

By our continual use of recycled cartons and cores, in 2008 alone, 2.5 truckloads of waste were diverted as a result... 390,000 US gallons of water were NOT used because of our commitment.... we saved the world enough energy to keep 10 houses going for a year..

MasterNet Ltd. has gone even greener !

A newly installed lighting system by MasterNet Ltd. will dramatically cut CO2 emissions and have a significant impact on local landfill issues.

By installing the newest in commercial lighting technology, electrode-less magnetic induction lamps.

Mercury released into the environment will decrease over the lifetime of the lamps by 138,520 mg Hg. This is a decrease of 57.8 times of material being added to our landfill sites when compared to the traditional lamps previously used at MasterNet Ltd.

Quotes MasterNet Ltd. V.P Paul Hartman, “These new lamps will last over 100,000 hours and the impact on the landfill is enormous – we had been changing lamps every 1.5 years or more. The new lamps are rated to last 15.2 years at our current pattern of use”

Reduced electrical use is a major boost with less CO2 emissions due to the reduced power draw. The carbon dioxide footprint of the facility will drop by over 546 metric tons in the next 10 year window.

Improved light quality, lower electricity bills and a major impact on the local environment make MasterNet Ltd. An even GREENER place.

 

Clouds


Masternet Ltd., Mississauga, ON