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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Armed with the mission of wanting to eradicate oil-based polymers in plastic production, Biome Bio Plastics was founded in 2010 and creating plant based materials.
Their products are suitable for a range of life spans from disposable to long term. Offering a range of high quality goods derived from bio-plastics is their specialty after 20 years development in this field. Their collection ranges from high temperature products, non-woven, cords, flexible films, coating and lamination. Products are heat-resistant to high temperatures under their BiomeHT range. All sources are non GMO and sustainable.
A summary of their product range is as follows:
BioMesh Non Woven offers functional performance that can be customized to the customer's needs while being ecologically friendly like other eco-resins. Cords are spun fiber that provide a great alternative to polyamide resins.
BiomeEP is a flexible film range suitable for a range of packaging needs. They offer sustainable adhesive and prints at high turnaround times.
BiomeEasyFlow is coating that is GM free, biodegradable (in an industrial compost) and an alternative to oil based LDPE coating.
BiomeBioLam is a complex, multi-layered film structure that offers barrier performance and quality adhesion.
Biome provides products with a high renewable percentage in production. Furthermore, most of their products are certified as compostable or recyclable and comply in regulation with EN 13432, ASTM D6400 and Vinçotte OK compost standards.
Paul Mines is CEO of Biome Bioplastics, UK. Previously he held many CEO and executive positions in various businesses and industries. He studied Business Administration for MBA in the London Business School.
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