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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BioBag is manufacturing bags and films for the collection of organic waste for the purpose of composting.
Unlike regular plastic, BioBags can be consumed by micro-organisms that live in our soils. They use starches from renewable crops which means their bags can be readily composted along with organic waste in municipal composting facilities.
BioBag is a small, privately owned, company dedicated to only producing certified compostable bags and films. The resin they use is sourced from Italy, as there is no “compostable resin” supplier in North America that can guarantee a resin that is based on GMO-free crops. The resin is then blown into compostable bags and film at their production facility in California. The bags assist communities, residents and businesses with the collection of food and lawn waste for composting.
The BioBag Company has worked with numerous haulers, composters, and government agencies to start, promote and maintain composting programs. BioBag products include: bags from 2 to 96+ gallon for the collection of organic waste for composting, films for packaging and agriculture and customized products for retail and commercial businesses. BioBag Products meet the ASTM D6400 standard specification for the labeling of plastics designed to be aerobically composted in municipal or industrial facilities.