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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BIO-FED is a branch of AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH and offers compounds of renewable raw materials and variable end-of-life scenarios. Founded in 2014, the company produces and markets biodegradable and/or biobased plastics under the brand name M∙VERA®.
As the world struggles to deal with the amount of plastic waste polluting the environment, a number of countries have imposed bans on non-biodegradable plastics. In order to meet the legal requirements in such countries, BIO-FED offers customized technical solutions for specific applications.
BIO-FED's M·VERA® compounds are produced by AKRO-PLASTIC in Germany. The products include a wide range of applications.
Their films compound are designed for applications where industrial composting is an end-of-life option and meet current compostability standards. Possible applications are for products like shopping bags, fruit and vegetable bags, labels, biowaste bags and agricultural films such as mulch film and food packaging.
Their bioplastic materials for injection moulding can be used for several applications such as coffee capsules, disposable cutlery and dishes, food and cosmetics packaging, lids and plugs and agricultural applications like flowerpots and plant ties. They can be used as a biodegradable alternative for PP, PE, PS or ABS components.
All their products can be colored individually with their AF-Eco® Biomasterbatches, based on the new range of Clariant pigments that are compatible with EN 13432.
Bio-Fed compounds are produced at AKRO-PLASTIC and their masterbatches at AF-COLOR, both located in Niederzissen, Germany.