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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AMCS is a leading supplier of integrated software and vehicle technology for the waste, recycling and material resources industries. They help over 1850 customers to reduce their operating costs, increase asset utilization, optimize margins and improve customer service.
Their enterprise software and SaaS solutions deliver digital innovation to the emerging circular economy around the world. AMCS solutions reduce the paperwork, time and costs of operating waste, resource management and recycling businesses. They optimize transport, assets, back office and processing operations with clear visibility, mobility and decision support. The result for the customers is improved margins, rich customer service and getting paid faster.
Prior to co-founding AMCS, Jimmy worked at Analog Devices for 10 years where he held a number of technical and management positions, the most recent being Head of Automation. Jimmy holds a 1st Class Honour’s Degree in Maths and Physics and a Masters in Computer Systems, and has received various accolades including the ‘Exporter of the Year’ 2013 at the Limerick Chamber Regional Business Awards and a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards, 2013.