There has been a noticeable increase in ecological awareness by society. We are becoming ever more aware that tons of rubbish are being scattered all over the world and this has a very negative impact on the life of our planet. This is why modern industry focuses on biodegradable products. So let us consider what biodegradation is and what is hidden behind the slogan of biodegradable products.
Biodegradation is a decomposition process of complex organic compounds into simple inorganic ones. It is the result of biological activity. It takes place mainly by the actions of living organisms, such as bacteria and fungi, but also by other microorganisms and under the influence of abiotic factors too, such as temperature, UV radiation and oxygen. Biodegradation can occur under anaerobic or aerobic conditions. The difference is clearly visible throughout the process, but the final products are the most important. From anaerobic biodegradation we obtain methane and other simple hydrocarbons. In contrast, aerobic biodegradation creates water and carbon dioxide, and sometimes mineral salts as well.
We now know something about the biodegradation process in general, by whom it is carried out and under what conditions it takes place. It provides the soil and plants with essential ingredients. Naturally existing compounds biodegrade much faster than man-made artificial substances. The process, in their case, can last up to several thousand years. This requires significant changes being introduced to the production process, especially related to the not insignificant problem of packaging as well as the production of the products themselves.
The PCC Group offers two marks describing products in terms of their biodegradibility – “100% biodegradable product” and “Biodegradable product”. The first relates to those products which undergo complete biological decomposition under aerobic conditions within 28 days. The second one applies to products where >60% decomposes within 28 days, under the same conditions. Both marks refer mainly to the biodegradability of surfactants, which is measured by specific, validated methods.
Among other products marked “100% biodegradable” we can find ROKAcet HR40W (PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil), which is a popular ingredient in cosmetic formulations. It is based on renewable plant raw materials. It is used in hair, body and face preparations, make-up cosmetics, as well as perfumes and anti-acne preparations.
Another product bearing this mark is ROKAmina K30B (Coco Betaine). It belongs to the group of surfactants, and is also widely used in cosmetics. It is not only a biodegradable product, but also a natural and ecological one, and is suitable for vegan formulations. Its excellent quality has been confirmed by many certificates, including the international ECOCERT quality mark.
The “biodegradable products” include a very wide range of substances and ready-made formulations. Among them we can find the entire series of the FLO® brand. It provides useful products for every home. These include dishwashing liquids, washing and rinsing liquids, glass washing liquids and many others. The range includes various fragrances, thanks to which we can select products to suit our preferences and thus choose more ecological solutions.