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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Armacell converts waste single-use PET bottles into long-lasting, high-endurance and temperature-resistant ArmaForm foam core materials for composite sandwich structures that can be used by various industries. These foam cores are compatible with various manufacturing methods and are eco-friendly alternatives to Balsa, PVC, PUR, SAN and honeycomb core materials.
Single-use plastic, especially PET bottles are one the leading causes of environmental and oceanic pollution across the world. Since they don’t easily degrade, they end up clogging land surfaces and populating landfills. The burning of single use plastic releases toxic gases in the air too.
Armacell has developed an indigenous technology that helps it to create ArmaForm or highly flexible foam which can be used in different industries. This foam can be used for equipment insulation as well as thermal, acoustic and mechanical solutions. Long wind turbine blades, high speed train structures and a 24-karat gilded roof of a cathedral are some of the projects in which this foam has been used. More than 3000 facade panels of the KAFD World Trade Center also use ArmaForm for lightweight stiffness. The company has recycled more than 1 billion single-use PET bottles till 2020.
Armacell is contributing towards building a more green and sustainable society. It is promoting the concept of a circular economy model based on reduce-reuse-recycle, as compared to the make-take-dispose economy. ArmaForm can help a building get LEED certification too, and is being used in more than 80,000 rotor blades globally. In the transport sector, the lightweight ArmaForm helps reduce fuel consumption. This innovative foam ensures lower costs, better durability, more design versatility and chemical resistance in all industries.
The company currently operates 24 production plants in 16 countries, focussing on two core solutions, Advanced Insulation and Engineered Foams. The 3 types of PET foams being offered are Structural PET foam cores, PET-based particle foams, and thin, flexible PET sheets. Armacell recently strengthened its position in Brazil by appointing Barracuda Advanced Composites as the distributor. In February 2019, the company's net sales was €610 million.
Wind energy, transport & packaging, construction, housing, and general industries are some of the target segments for the products offered by Armacell.