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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BIONIC®is a mission-driven material engineering company, addressing ocean plastic pollution in marine and coastal environments. Their vision is to unite industry leading brands to substantially and measurably reduce ocean plastic.
BIONIC engineers fully traceable high-grade textiles and polymers made with coastal and marine plastic. Starting in Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula, they helped establish a collection and recovery system that allowed them to have raw materials they could use to create their products.
The product line consists of three yarns: HLX®, DPX® and FLX™, each of which serves different functions and are highly adaptable to suit a wide range of applications, and multiple variations of polymer resin.
In 2010, after engaging with his streetwear brand BBC/Ice Cream, Grammy award winning artist and producer Pharrell Williams became the company’s third partner. In 2016 BIONIC joined forces with Waterkeeper Alliance, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s global environmental not for profit.
The company’s early focus on forward-thinking fashion, including everything from jeans and suits to snowboarding jackets and haute couture dresses, earned high-profile collaborations with brands like Timberland, Burton, G-Star, O’Neill, H&M and Chanel and appealed to people who didn’t want to forsake looking good for feeling good.