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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It offers multiple benefits for consumers, beverage retailers, food service providers and the environment (compared to the current disposable cup offerings) including that it:
is easy to use,
prevents splashes, leaks and drips,
is cost competitive,
is 100% compostable and the BioPBS range is 100% compostable and recyclable in a recycling facility,
reduces the number of stock items,
reduces counter and storage space requirements,
reduces transport volumes,
speeds the serving process,
is environmentally friendly - bio-based, ethically sourced & plastic-free,
The ButterflyCup business model is to licence to reputable cup manufacturers globally. To date, they have three manufacturer licensees in China, Indonesia and South Korea. Market reaction is extremely positive with sales in several countries including Britain, Ireland, Germany, South Africa, Canada, USA, Israel and Greece.
ButterflyCup operates a 'continuous improvement' philosophy and recently filed an additional patent application for a significant design improvement (not yet disclosed) that further increases the structural strength, functionality, cost competitiveness and performance of ButterflyCup.
The ButterflyCup design will be adapted for (1) viscous food products such as soup or noodles, (2) solid food items such as fries or popcorn and (3) as a re-usable drinks container.
The optimal material for ButterflyCup is a barrier-free, composite-free paperboard (such as ISLA paperboard produced by Kotkamills, Finland).
The minimum order quantity per SKU for own artwork is 50,000 pieces per cup size.