Frequently Asked Questions About

Americo's Full Cycle® Product Line

Our goal is to produce products that perform to the highest standards while leaving the smallest possible impact on the environment. A leader in the Jan/San industry for over 45 years, Americo has been manufacturing floor pads with 100% recycled fibers for well over a decade. Completing the cycle, in 2014 Americo introduced an innovative floor pad technology that has been specially formulated to biodegrade in a fraction of the time once discarded into a landfill, compared to conventional pads. When consumers see the Full Cycle® label, they will know they have a quality product while reducing mankind’s impact on the environment.

Full Cycle® pads will only begin the biodegradation* process AFTER they have been discarded into an anaerobic microbial environment that exists in an active landfill.

This innovation does NOT modify Americo’s core pad formulation; therefore, our products have the same high quality and product performance that customers have come to expect from Americo.

Biodegradation* is defined in various ways but essentially refers to the process by which organic materials are broken down into smaller compounds via the action of naturally occurring microorganisms, ultimately ending up as biogas and a soil-like solid residue, also known as humus.

Yes, but it can take hundreds or possibly thousands of years for most plastic to biodegrade*. Plastics have been designed for their physical properties, particularly their strength and resilience. Most plastics contain carbon atoms linked into long molecular chains. Although carbon is a great nutrient source for microorganisms, the long chains make it difficult to be metabolized by microorganisms. Americo’s Full Cycle® pads have been specially formulated to biodegrade* in a fraction of the time as traditional plastics.

Americo Full Cycle® pads will only begin to biodegrade* after being placed in an anaerobic (without oxygen) environment and in the presence of certain types of microorganisms that exist primarily in active landfills.

There are a number of factors which contribute to the length of time required to biodegrade our material in a landfill. These factors include the type of microorganisms present in the landfill, the level of microbial activity, temperature, and moisture levels. Biodegradation* occurs in all active landfills at varying rates of time based on a combination of these factors.

Americo’s technology promotes the biodegradation* of traditional plastics in landfills as validated by an independent, certified laboratory using the test method ASTM D5511.

D5511 testing shows up to 90% biodegradation* of Americo’s Full Cycle® floor pad in 14 months, as compared to less than 7% on our conventional pads. Laboratory tests, which represent optimized conditions, often show faster results than actual landfill conditions. The actual rate of biodegradation* of Americo’s Full Cycle® pads, as well as the rate of all plastic materials in landfills, will be slower and will vary, dependent upon actual landfill conditions.

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Samples A and B shown above were both taken from the same Full Cycle® floor pad. While Sample A was left untouched, Sample B was placed in an ASTM D5511 simulated landfill test for 290 days. Note the significant mass reduction via enhanced biodegradation* in Sample B. Photos courtesy of Eden Labs LLC.

ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. The ASTM D5511 test is a method that evaluates the biodegradability* of plastic in anaerobic, or oxygen-less, conditions. It is a standard test method for determining the rate and extent of anaerobic biodegradation* of plastic materials under high-solids, anaerobic-digestion conditions.

The biodegradation of our Full Cycle® pads is enhanced through a series of new formulations. These new formulations are attracted to certain microorganisms that facilitate the breakdown of polymers and plastics used in our floor pads, resulting in an enhanced biodegradation* process once the product is disposed of in an active microbial environment, such as a landfill.

All of the standard floor pads produced by Americo are manufactured as Full Cycle® floor pads.

Our Full Cycle® pads are designed to provide optimal results without additional cost to our customers. Americo will be absorbing the additional costs internally as we believe taking eco-action is simply our corporate responsibility—and it’s what sets us apart from other pad manufacturers in our industry.

*A NOTE ABOUT BIODEGRADATION:

Biodegradation* is the breaking down of organic materials over time via the action of microorganisms, ultimately ending up as biogas and a soil-like residue known as humus. The rate of biodegradation* in a landfill varies, depending on the type of microorganisms in the landfill, the level of microbial activity, temperature, and moisture levels and other factors.

We had Americo’s pads tested by an independent, certified laboratory using the ASTM D5511 test method, a recognized way to measure the rate and extent of biodegradation* of plastic materials under simulated high-solids, anaerobic, landfill conditions. These ideal laboratory conditions typically show faster results than actual landfill conditions.

Americo’s Full Cycle® floor pad biodegraded* up to 92.5% in 616 days, ccompared to 16.4% on our non-treated pads. See lab photos. The actual rate of our Full Cycle® pads will be slower and will vary, depending upon actual landfill conditions. The test does not prove that the pad will continue to break down at that rate or biodegrade* completely.


California Notice: California law prohibits the sale of plastic packaging and plastic products that are labeled with the terms ‘biodegradable’, ‘degradable’, or ‘decomposable’, or any form of those terms, or that imply in any way that the item will break down, biodegrade, or decompose in a landfill or other environment. These restrictions apply to all sales in or into the State of California, including such sales over the Internet.