oxo-degradable plastic

DEFINITION: Plastic material - either bio-based or fossil-fuel-based - that has been designed to degrade by oxidation. Oxo-degradable plastics typically contain a chemical additive which triggers fragmentation when the material is exposed to heat or UV rays. Manufacturers have claimed that these fragments then biodegrade, but research into some oxo-degradable materials has revealed that this is not always the case. 

See also: Bioplastics

See also: Biodegradable