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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Biprocel is a versatile composite panel made from industrial waste with impressive properties. They close the cellulose fibre life cycle thus reducing industry dependency on landfills. They achieve this by integrating utilities surpluses from industrial partners into their process, thus making both processes more efficient.
Biprocel is the flagship alternative to wood and paper-based materials, a revolutionary fibreboard for designing sustainable buildings & products that enable a circular economy. It has the following properties:
- Non Toxic: Does not emit formaldehyde nor other volatile organic compounds (VOCs). -Sound Insulation: It has good insulation properties. The sound insulation index varies according to board thickness and density. -Weight Resistant: The board presents higher flexural strength than Particleboard. -Easy Installation: It can be cut, drilled and sanded. The tools and fastening systems used for Biprocel are identical to those used for wood. -Moisture Resistant: Under the action of water it does not disaggregate. It is a material resistant to water and water vapour. -Fire Retardant: It prevents the spread of fire.
Biprocel which is also the name of the company, has patents for the process and product around the world. It has scaled up the technology and product to pilot scale, and has begun building the industrial scale production center in Spain. Their characteristics :
- Clean manufacturing:BIPROCEL is made with water, waste fibre, pressure and heat. They don’t use any toxic additives in our manufacturing process, we recover and reuse 99% of their water, and their factories are designed to have zero environmental impact. - Closing the loop: They close the cellulose fibre life cycle thus reducing industry dependency on landfills. - Production efficiency: They integrate utilities surpluses from industrial partners into their process, thus making both processes more efficient.
They are looking for partners to distribute the manufacturing model where the residue is valorized locally into a product for regional demand.
Pere Merino, has been CEO since 2015. He is a Chemical Engineer by the IQS, is a visionary Entrepreneur and Investor with more than 30 years in the biotech & pharma software industry. Pere earlier founded M2R, which was acquired by Aspen Technology Inc. in 2000; he also founded SVS, merged it with Telstar, and then sold it to Azbil Corporation (Japan) in 2013. He also was Chairman BOD & Co-founder of Bigfinite since 2014, and Board Member at Virtual Bodyworks since 2017. He has a degree in Chemical Engineering.