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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BioCellection is a for-profit startup, developing advanced technologies to transform unrecyclable plastics into virgin-quality chemicals for sustainable supply chains. By focusing on the 92% of plastic waste too contaminated and difficult to recycle, they are unlocking a massive resource that leads to unprecedented opportunities.
The company envision a future where all end-of-life plastics will be recycled indefinitely. To help achieve this goal, they are developing a key innovation to turn plastic waste into quality products that can serve sustainable markets.
They are pushing the frontiers of innovation in the field of plastic recycling by developing novel, scalable, and sustainable processes that treat hard-to-recycle plastic waste. By focusing on the 92% of plastic waste too contaminated and difficult to recycle, they are unlocking a massive resource that leads to unprecedented opportunities. They envision a future where all end-of-life plastics will be recycled indefinitely. Their recycling technology is compatible with existing systems, so they work with material recovery facilities to source and study real, post-consumer plastic waste after industrial sorting.
They shred plastics to increase the surface area available to the reaction. The core Process is a selective oxidation Reaction driven by cheap, industrial catalysts. To break plastic polymer chains, they cleave stable carbon-carbon bonds. They’ve identified a catalyst that cuts open polymer chains to trigger a smart chain reaction—at atmospheric pressure and a temperature that a water boiler can handle. Once the polymer is broken into pieces with fewer than 10 carbon atoms, oxygen from the air adds to the chain and forms valuable organic acid species that can be harvested, purified, and used to make products we love.
They’ve completed proofs of concept using plastic films (mainly LDPE and HDPE), rigid plastics (PP, PET, PS, and PE), and foam plastics (mainly PS). Of these varieties, their process is most developed for treating plastic films and is at technology readiness level 6.
They have produced the world's first dibasic esters made from plastic waste.
They partner with organizations to scale and deploy the inventions that we build to make big impacts around the world.
They have been featured in interviews and radio talk shows such as Wired, CNN, Apparel News, CNKW Radio etc. They have been recognised by UN. Miranda Wang is a CNN “Tomorrow’s Hero,” one of New York Time’s 30 Visionaries with the Courage to Change the World, Echoing Green Fellow (2018), a finalist in the 2018 Pritzker Environmental Genius Award hosted by the UCLA IOES, and a winner at the Wharton Business Plan Competition (2016), the Westly Prize (2018), and the CITEO Circular Challenge International grand prize (2018). Miranda Wang is Young Champion of the Earth for North America, for her work.
BioCellection was also part of the MIT Solve Challenge 2019 winners.
Miranda Wang is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of BioCellection Inc, an innovation company that turns unrecyclable plastic waste into chemicals, and recyclable or biodegradable materials for consumer and industrial products. In 2014 she also cofounded TEDX Penn. She received her Bachelor of Arts in biology, philosophy, and an engineering entrepreneurship from the University of Pennsylvania.
Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of BioCellection. At the age of 17, Jeanny started innovating on the topic of plastics degradation and upcycling and presented her research findings at the TED2013 conference together with her then research partner, Miranda Wang. Prior to co-founding BioCellection, she conducted plastics research at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto in Canada.
Through her achievements in environmental innovation and leadership, Jeanny was named MacLean’s Ones to Watch (2013) and selected by Plan Canada as Top 20 Under 20 (2014). She was also the co-recipient of the Penn-Columbia Social Impact Fellowship (2016).
She graduated from the University of Toronto with an Honors Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Environmental Science.