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.
Thank you for your interest in Ubuntoo. You need to create an account to continue.
Please Susbscribe to get free access to our newsletter, solutions database, knowledge resources and more.
BIOTEC is a leading company that develops and produces sustainable bioplastics made from plant-based renewable resources.
The product range stretches from refuse and shopper bags to pharmaceutical capsules, including food industry blisters, cosmetics packaging and many other requests from our clients. BIOTEC produces and sells a new generation of customized thermoplastic materials with various functional properties under the brand name BIOPLAST. All products made from BIOPLAST grades are 100% biodegradable. Some in industrial compost, other in home compost.
For the entire BIOPLAST range, the company strives to achieve the highest possible portion of biobased raw material. The proportion of biobased content ranges between 23% to 100%.
In the fast growing market of bioplastics, BIOTEC is a key player that offers a credible and industrial-scale sustainable alternative to conventional plastics, with the objective of significantly reducing the use of fossil-based plastics. The company's network covers most European countries.