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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AlgoPackis all about saving the planet with its highly versatile products and manufacturing processes are focused around using brown seaweed. Their manufacturing process involves turning seaweed into granules by consuming as much low energy as possible. Seaweed is a beneficial renewable source due to its abundant growth with low intensive farming and its wide range of uses.
The harvesting of the seaweed done locally is toxic free and has no need for intensive farming practices that harm the environment. Seaweed also absorbs a large amount of CO2 which can help transform pollution in the atmosphere.
They offer two products; AlgoBlend and AlgoPack. The first one is a 50:50 split between seaweed and plastic. AlgoPack is their most prized invention being a 100% seaweed material which is bio-compostable and completely recyclable. The range of applications for AlgoPack are so diverse that it can be used for almost anything that is usually made of plastic. It offers credit card holders, computer and phone solutions, packaging products, thermoformed trays, extruded sheets, thermoformed trays to name just a few. It complies with all EU regulations and does not have harmful chemicals.
AlgoPack has the potential to eliminate large needs for petroleum based plastic. They have received numerous press and media attributes due to their pioneering products and occasionally attend exhibitions to demonstrate their work.