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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Boomera (previously called wise waste) was founded in 2011 and connect the entire production chain to transform waste into raw material again.
Only 3 percent of the waste generated in Brazil gets recycled. In the largest cities, each inhabitant produces an average of 1.2 kg of waste per day and 41 percent of municipal waste ends up in garbage dumps. Brazil does recycle significant quantities of certain materials, such as aluminium cans. But, waste separation remains poorly organized across the country, and most people rely on cooperatives of waste collectors, who tend to work informally. What’s more, a culture of burying rubbish is omnipresent among public administrators.
To Transform complex packaging into raw materials it is essential to create specific processes. To this end, Boomera had developed a proprietary methodology CircularPack® that transforms waste into a product line with cause, through technology, design and waste pickers' cooperatives, incorporating companies into the Circular Economy.
They have helped several clients to ensure a circular approach in the products used.
POSITIV.A: in August 2017 they called Boomera to help them develop innovative packaging that would have a positive impact. The raw material of their new packaging is 100% post-consumer! They select only Polyethylene because it is free of Bisphenol and malleable. The bales of recycled materials go through the factory of the Boomera in Sâo Paolo that does the washing and second sorting. The material is then turned into flakes and after a second wash it goes through the extrusion process and is transformed into pellets. It is then injected into their unique vial and made serigraphy of the label in the same place.
Adidas: Wastes from the waters of Rio de Janeiro were collected by collectors cooperatives and processed through the recycling process into cones for sports activities.
Natura Sou: The challenge was to recycle the packaging of Natura SOU brand products involving collector cooperatives in the collection of the material. Their packaging material composed of 3 different types of plastics has been recycled and transformed into plastic resin that can be applied to 12 different types of new products.