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Are Ostomy Pouch Liners Really Flushable or Biodegradable?  

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Joan
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May 10, 2018 1:49 pm  

I use liners but don't flush them, just empty the contents into the toilet, crumple up the liner, and put it in a ziplock bag with others until garbage day, when it goes out with the regular trash.


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VeganOstomy
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May 10, 2018 11:18 pm  

Thanks for sharing that, Joan.

It does seem like some extra work for you. Are you using liners for a particular reason? 

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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dogtalkerer
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October 13, 2018 4:34 pm  

you put lots of work into this for sure.

question is, Do you really want stuff to biodegrade in a landfill??????

most landfills are far from being what a backyard compost pile is.   landfills do exactly opposite of what you would do in the backyard.   in turn  you get a different outcome, methane instead of carbon dioxide, some claim methane 1000x worse for atmosphere than CO2..  .   most landfills are not intended to breakdown, it would disrupted the encapsulation that keeps stuff in that you do not want oozing out.

here with your experiment, you could have used Aristotle's idea of thinking through an experiment instead of doing the experiment.  more later.....


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dogtalkerer
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October 13, 2018 4:43 pm  

also, I can not find a technical definition for flushable?  therefore a small stuffed animal is flushable,  I put it in the toilet, pull handle and it disappears!   

Merriam Webster dictionary:  suitable for disposal by flushing down a toilet.

wiki had a similar definition.


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VeganOstomy
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October 13, 2018 4:44 pm  
Posted by: dogtalkerer

question is, Do you really want stuff to biodegrade in a landfill??????

I never suggested that they should - I was merely testing the claim made by manufacturers who say these products can biodegrade under normal use and disposal - which they clearly do not. 

The best place for human waste is down a toilet. The only acceptable place for soiled ostomy appliances to be discarded is a landfill, not the municipal sewer systems. 

 

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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VeganOstomy
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October 13, 2018 4:48 pm  
Posted by: dogtalkerer

also, I can not find a technical definition for flushable?  therefore a small stuffed animal is flushable,  I put it in the toilet, pull handle and it disappears!   

Merriam Webster dictionary:  suitable for disposal by flushing down a toilet.

wiki had a similar definition.

Flushable, in this context, is a product designed and intended to be flushed down a toilet. There are very few products that your city would consider to be safely flushable.

Products like "flushable" baby wipes, pouch liners, feminine hygiene products, etc. are often not able to break down quickly enough and severely disrupt a water treatment plant's operation. 

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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dogtalkerer
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October 15, 2018 3:06 pm  

where did this standard come from?  """"Anything you flush should break down as it swirls down your toilet drain,""""""

my output is thick,   it does not breakdown in a toilet, did experiment other day.

how did the biodegradable test go? did you test for that?

I agree for the flush-and-forget population, toilets and sewers are the most practical, but not  the best for fecal waste.  direct composting is the most efficient and environmentally friendly system I can think of.   I've used a composting toilet for over 14yrs,    Zero energy use.


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VeganOstomy
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October 15, 2018 3:19 pm  
Posted by: dogtalkerer

where did this standard come from?  ""

It probably goes back a very long time! All I know is that pretty much every municipality has the same recommendations. 

""Anything you flush should break down as it swirls down your toilet drain,""""""

my output is thick,   it does not breakdown in a toilet, did experiment other day.

But it will break down at some point before reaching the water treatment plant ;) 

how did the biodegradable test go? did you test for that?

Months later and the liner hasn't changed one bit. 

I've used a composting toilet for over 14yrs,    Zero energy use.

I love the idea of composting toilets, but don't know much about them to comment. 

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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dogtalkerer
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October 15, 2018 3:49 pm  

NSF International has launched a new certification program that provides third-party verification of consumer product claims asserting they can be safely disposed of via toilet flushing.(see link below)

 the point i was trying to make, if there isn't a standard for flushable or toilet disposable, then whatever goes down can be called flushable by anyone.

in michigan, NSF writes the bld code for the waste water end .  heres what your interested in.

https://www.pmengineer.com/articles/89742-nsf-international-launches-certification-program-for-flushable-products

was the biodegrade test in the jug of water? your own article states it won't degrade.  people often put carrots and celery in water to keep longer.   the hope that a liner would fall apart in the toilet is really unreasonable.  thats why I remarked on Aristotle , one of his ideas was you can carefully think through an idea thoroughly without  testing.  your test fits this.

 take  a liner out of the box, attach it to a warm moist area on body, have it fill with a warm liquidy substance, hold that liquid for several hours without leaking, but then fall apart seconds after it enters the toilet is just too unrealistic .   think we all know, foods don't hold up well in a warm moist environment, so a liner has to be pretty tough.

I'd put a used liner in the backyard compost pile for 3 weeks and see what happens. gotta give it a fair chance.

 


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dogtalkerer
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October 15, 2018 4:01 pm  

Composting toilets......  are amazingly simple devices.  local health dept made be buy a NSF certified toilet, but my home-made home depot bucket toilet actually worked better.

I strongly suggest everyone to build one themselves and try it out .   basic composting idea, lots of oxygen, moist but not wet,  add dry leaves,grass,maybe some peet moss, spread poop thin, don't leave it in a  baseball shape. it likes the sun(warmth).  


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dogtalkerer
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October 30, 2018 1:39 pm  

so are you going to try the decompose test again? did you realize your goof? your article points to 2 reasons it wouldn't degrade in a jug of water, plus my guess you used tap water thats been treated with chlorine, kinda makes for a sterile environment.

you must have a compost pile right? of course this time of year things are grinding to a halt in backyard piles.

 a quick search suggests sewage treatment plants run digesters at around temperatures of 86F, or 32C.   that's a good clue that little to nothing will decompose in the underground sewer pipe, plus the very short time stuff stays in the pipe before reaching plant.

Liners are probably a good solution for medical care facilities.  

lots of ways to reduce energy use, thus being environmental friendly. I probably throw away a shoe box of used drainable bags a year, thats really not that much to worry about.  I use 8oz of water to change a bag and shave my face after.  I use 24oz of water to shampoo my hair.   any hot water I use,  I heat on the stove.  try it, its not that hard.  guys can pee in yard at night, the dogs does it all the time..  every time you turn a faucet on , that water gets treated twice, treatment uses energy.


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VeganOstomy
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October 30, 2018 2:17 pm  

No desire to run the test again - no environment that would be realistic in a home sewage system would break down these liners. This is coming from both the manufacturer and the municipal facility that would handle it all.

And that's the point. We would never have the "right" environment for this type of plastic to break down under normal use.

That said - toilet paper breaks down in cold tap water, so that should give you an indication of where these liners need to be to at least perform on-par.

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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johnnydi
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October 30, 2018 2:32 pm  

I'm not sure what a liner is but if it holds your output I can't see how it would be biodegradable. The acid or digestive fluids would eat it up if it were, I would think.


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dogtalkerer
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November 1, 2018 1:35 pm  

John, I think you are thinking more about, say,  how acid will eat metals.  from my understanding, biodegrading requires microorganisms and days to start biodegrading.  its quite possible that body fluids start the bio degradation process going.

vegan, you said """"And that's the point. We would never have the "right" environment for this type of plastic to break down under normal use."""""

what then is the right environment for breakdown? I don't quite see it in above article?  thats why I suggested using a composting pile.   you already know the composter is working,  so all the right conditions for biodegrading are there and are happening.

I think there is a mix up in terminology here.  toilet paper breaking down.   the paper does fall apart in water, but thats a mechanical action.    biodegrading can also be called breaking down, but biodegrading is a chemical change, the toilet paper is not biodegrading in toilet, just falling apart.  yes, I agree, toilet paper will fall apart in ice water same as in very warm water, but many chemical reactions occur faster in warmer than colder conditions.   thats what I was referring to why nothing will happen in a cold underground sewer pipe.

of course, if the liner would fall apart in toilet, it would fall apart as soon as your stoma did its thing making a liner useless.  I don't think its clear that a liner would not decompose in a treatment plant digester, at least partial biodegrade.

vegan, I actually learned more with failed chemistry labs then when things went according to the book.


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VeganOstomy
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November 1, 2018 2:17 pm  
Posted by: dogtalkerer

what then is the right environment for breakdown? I don't quite see it in above article?  thats why I suggested using a composting pile.   you already know the composter is working,  so all the right conditions for biodegrading are there and are happening.

BASF lists specs for various bioplastics, and their conditions for proper biodegradation, but we are talking MONTHS under ideal conditions. 

From my perspective, if a product isn't able to perform as intended under normal use cases, it shouldn't be used or should be used with caution. 

I'm sure we can get these liners to degrade somewhat, but if that can't happen within a few hours, there's no value to ordinary users. 

 

 

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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Thor
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November 15, 2018 6:07 pm  

I have been using liners for many years. There are many advantages.(filters dont plug) (I Scuba dive, play hockey , drink beer, eat chilly = fart) We had a septic system so I didn't flush , but instead attempted to compost . My finding were that the liners needed Oxygen to break down , more than just bacteria. Adding sunlight caused a fairly fast reaction. (difficult because exposed material smell).
In Sewage/cold-water , breakdown would be extremly slow.
Previous commentors commented on the contradiction of being able to withstand holding warm moist biologic waste for hours , then quickly decompose in cold chlorine water.
I have done some experiments using PVOH to make liner bags but can't seal the inner side (thin flim) long enough to be practical (air venting pin holes cause failure).
Still searching for a better solution.


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VeganOstomy
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November 16, 2018 2:45 pm  

Thanks for your input, Thor.

It would be interesting to see if any advancements come out way with liners - offering the convenience and true biodegradability.

Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~


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