Glossary term

Enzyme-mediated plastics

These plastics are no bioplastics. Instead, a conventional non-biodegradable plastic (e.g. fossil-based PE) is enriched with small amounts of an organic additive. Microorganisms are supposed to consume these additives and the degradation process should then expand to the non-biodegradable PE and thus make the material degrade. After some time, the plastic is supposed to visually disappear and to be completely converted to carbon dioxide and water. This is a theoretical concept which has not been backed up by any verifiable proof so far. Producers promote enzyme-mediated plastics as a solution to littering. As no proof for the degradation process has been provided, environmental beneficial effects are highly questionable.