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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PTTMCC Biochem is a strategic joint venture between PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited (PTTGC) and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC). Their product goal is to achieve 100% biobased polymer in the near future.
BioPBS (bio-based polybutylene succinate) is revolutionary in its two-fold bio properties.
With BioPBS, the product is conceived from nature and will naturally go back to nature at the end of its product life cycle. Environmentally friendly, food contact approved, printable without pre-treatment and heat resistant while retaining the same material quality and machine processing speed as conventional materials, BioPBS improves the quality of the product while causing no harm to the environment. BioPBS is an ideal material for product containers and packaging. IT has received a few certifications including: USDA Certified Biobased product 51%, DIN Biobased 50-85%.
BioPBS naturally decomposes into CO2, H2O and biomass and then used as feedstock for BioPBS again. It is also naturally compostable at 30 °C (86 °F) in a landfill and shows good biodegradation in a marine environment.
BioPBS has been used in a wide range applications such as: paper coating, Compounding, Synthetic fiber, Flexible and barrier packaging.
For example, ButterflyCuphas developed disposable drinks made with BioBPS that are 100% compostable and recyclable in a recycling facility.
PTTMCC is dedicated to produce BioPBS with a 20,000 tons annual capacity plant based in Thailand.
To know more about their application, you can check their brochure HERE.
The BioBPS barrier coating innovation has been selected by the NextGenCup Challenge team among 12 ideas that are pushing the boundaries of material and chemical innovation and sustainable design as they reinvent the fiber cup system.