The term "biodegradable" has been used over the past few years, to describe plastics or packaging that could potentially be metabolized by microorganisms in nature, with complete breakdown to CO2/Methane, water and biomass. However, there is significant confusion and controversy surrounding biodegradable plastics since many suppliers have used the term to loosely describe their material/packaging without specifying the conditions under which the material would degrade in nature. For instance, some plastics (like PLA) will only degrade under industrial composting conditions, while some others (like PHA) can break down under a wider range of conditions and environments (industrial, backyard, marine). Given this widespread confusion and the misuse of the "biodegradable" term, many global government and industry organizations have issued guidelines to restrict or eliminate the unqualified use of biodegradable as a descriptor of plastics or packaging. These include the European Commission guidelines (European Plastics Strategy) and the Federal Trade Commission Green Guides in the US.
In line with such guidelines, Ubuntoo's recommends that companies providing biodegradable materials, products or packaging:
1.Avoid unqualified use of the term "biodegradable" to describe their products
2.Any claim of biodegradability should be accompanied by a description of specific conditions and environments under which the material or product will undergo degradation in nature
3.It is strongly recommended that companies provide globally accepted certifications or testing for various biodegradability claims (such as the BPA certification for industrial composting)
Further in line with the position articulated by the European Commission as well as major CPG companies, Ubuntoo recommends that "biodegradable" plastics should not be considered a solution for littering (or worse a license to litter). Appropriate collection and end-of-life solutions (such as industrial composting or home composting) need to be put into place to avoid biodegradable plastics ending up as litter in the environment.
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All Questions (70)
PostedOct 01, 2019
What information is out there about plastics being used as building materials? For instance, since plastic is so waterproof, would using recycled plastics as roofing be an option economically? What other recycled...read more→
What information is out there about plastics being used as building materials? For instance, since plastic is so waterproof, would using recycled plastics as roofing be an option economically? What other recycled building materials would be possible?
Thanks, Logan showless
RepliedJul 19, 2020
We recycle low value plastic(MLP/Wrapper) into composite sheet and this sheets are used as alternative to wood and plywood base applications. We also make roof sheet form this waste.
PostedOct 01, 2019
With feedstock in mind, is there any research done about the reuse of plastics with regards to 3-D printed items? For example, does anyone have knowledge on whether 3-D printed items are able to be used as feedstock?
Net Your Problem LLC
RepliedFeb 10, 2021
This is not exactly what you were asking for, but Ian Falconer's company makes 3DP filament from recycled fishing nets, so he might have some idea of the recyclability of products that are made with the filament.
PostedOct 01, 2019
What are some of the best ways to encourage people to simply care about the environment and thus making a shift toward sustainability?
Education? Laws forcing people to recycle, etc?
Karan Pandey (WTG)
RepliedJun 25, 2020
Davis Christensen , I'd say that putting value into waste would be a great option. For an example if we tell a set of people to separate waste so that the Recycling is easy or Environment will be better, there won't be too many. But if I tell those people that I'll pay them cash or I'd reward them at the end of month or week, they'd happy to work for it. Everybody wants free things or rewards.
I hope this helps!!
Studio Make Believe
PostedSep 01, 2019
Good morning! I am looking for manufacturers able to mould a coffee cup in a sustainable material(not an existing coffee cup product). Any sustainable material or fully reciclable now a days is an option, 18/8 food...read more→
Good morning! I am looking for manufacturers able to mould a coffee cup in a sustainable material(not an existing coffee cup product). Any sustainable material or fully reciclable now a days is an option, 18/8 food grade stainless steel, rice husks, bamboo fibre, bleached paperboard, etc. I are open for a wide range of material possibilities and for manufactures advice. The only restriction is that the material must to be BPA free.
Many thanks in advance. showless
Studio Make Believe
RepliedSep 01, 2019
Thank you for the information provided. Unfortunately, Cafe Salento is not willing to disclose this information. I am able to find many of manufactures in China, but I am looking for European market. I will try to dig out more on internet lets see if I have more luck.
Have a great day
Global Energy and Sustainability Director
ISS Facilities Services
PostedAug 17, 2019
Hi All, I am working with a company that does blood donations. There are about 180 sites across the United States. I am hoping to find a better method to manage the plastic waste. Lots of IV bags (not holding the...read more→
Hi All, I am working with a company that does blood donations. There are about 180 sites across the United States. I am hoping to find a better method to manage the plastic waste. Lots of IV bags (not holding the donations), tubing and plastic film bags that hold each donation kit before use. I am sorry I don’t have better info yet on the types of plastic. Some of the plastic is medical hazard/red bag, and the needle goes to a sharps container, but there is a lot leftover that goes to waste. What is the best way to improve this?
find an effective way to recycle the plastic that can be done at all donation centers (otherwise the management process breaks down).
find a partner that needs that kind of waste as an input for their value chain (the large network of sites makes this seem challenging.
Find an alternative that isn’t disposable, but this would challenge an industry that is heavily regulated and for many good reasons.
Am I framing this effectively? Please suggest any other solution types or ideas for reducing a lot of this plastic waste. showless
RepliedOct 13, 2019
The Healthcare Recycling Plastics Council (HRPC) might be a useful resource for exploring solutions to plastic medical waste. While they are generally geared toward hospitals, I imagine there is overlap in the types of plastic waste generated at a donation center. Their HospiCycle guide (https://www.hprc.org/hospicycle) might be a good place to start.
Studio Make Believe
PostedAug 01, 2019
Hi. I am looking for an UK & European manufacturers of sustainable coffee cups and materials they are made from (BPA free). Reusable cups for home, picnic and travel use. It would be great if any of you can share...read more→
Hi. I am looking for an UK & European manufacturers of sustainable coffee cups and materials they are made from (BPA free). Reusable cups for home, picnic and travel use. It would be great if any of you can share information about it. I would really appreciate. Many thanks in advance!!! showless
RepliedJun 26, 2020
Try India...they are all about recycle repurpose reuse. They are full of manufacturers that make great stuff.
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