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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Get answers to your questions on solutions to plastic pollution, food waste and sustainable fashion from our expert community.
All Questions (30)
A Top Packaging
PostedMay 14, 2020
Dear all, we are looking for a folding carton manufacturer that has the capabilities to produce our sustainable packaging solutions/innovations in the UK. Alternatively a distributor so we supply them. ...
Dear all, we are looking for a folding carton manufacturer that has the capabilities to produce our sustainable packaging solutions/innovations in the UK. Alternatively a distributor so we supply them. www.atoppackaging.com Adriaan Verbeek +31622202449
Among the contacts we have, I would recommend to contact Affinity Packaging. They do manufacture themselves on site (and not in China or through others). They can do free testing. You can contact Edward: email@example.com Let me know if you are looking for something else.
Hee Benjamin, the highest impact we make is by buying new stuff to give to eachother. Since we already have almost everything our hearts desire, we don’t give gifts anymore. Just have a very nice family dinner with responsibly seasonable and local produced food. And spend our time on eachother in stead of money And otherwise we buy second hand or share/borrow stuff. No gifts, no wrappings, no waste
I saw a discussion on Reddit about a new plastic alternative called MarinaTex that is made from fish waste. It was created by a University of Sussex student who won an international competition with the innovation.... Show More
I saw a discussion on Reddit about a new plastic alternative called MarinaTex that is made from fish waste. It was created by a University of Sussex student who won an international competition with the innovation. There was a lot of provocative debate on Reddit about the merits of the material given that it is derived from animal byproducts. I think people could benefit from hearing from opinions on the Ubuntoo platform about whether this material is a viable mass alternative to plastic.
Here is a link to the article: https://www.sussex.ac.uk/news/media-centre/press-releases/id/48861
What does everyone think?
Hello! I am trying to convert all of the coffee and tea stations in our portfolio to zero waste. The solutions for coffee were not difficult to find, but tea is more difficult. Many tea bags have plastic fibers in... Show More
I am trying to convert all of the coffee and tea stations in our portfolio to zero waste. The solutions for coffee were not difficult to find, but tea is more difficult. Many tea bags have plastic fibers in them. A few brands have tea bags that are fully compostable, but their wrapper is either single use plastic or a paper/aluminum material that is not recyclable in our jursidiction. Some brands have cut the wrapper out completely, which is fine for in home use, but viewed as unsanitary in a work or apartment building setting.
As such we have decided to explore loose tea options. Does anyone know of a tea filter bag for loose tea that is fully compostable and BPI certified or similar? Here is the closest thing I could find, but not sure I trust it:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/climate-solutions/israeli-startup-ubq-turning-trash-into-plastic-products/ Has everyone seen this yet? Pretty cool…what do you think? Is this scalable? Does this help solve... Show More
Has everyone seen this yet? Pretty cool…what do you think? Is this scalable? Does this help solve the landfill problem? What happens to these products at their end of life…Back to the landfill?