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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The hydrothermal upgrading platform, Cat-HTR™ (Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor), can rapidly and economically transform a wide range of biomass, waste plastic and industry residues into biocrude to produce biofuels and chemicals.
Nature takes millions of years to create fossil oil. The Cat-HTR™ takes 20-30 minutes to create a renewable biocrude oil.
Licella’s patented Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor platform aims to be a disruptive technology set to revolutionize the approach of a zero waste economy and transition to sustainable renewable fuels and chemicals. The Cat-HTR™ is also offering a new stream of revenue to industries looking to diversify, creating valuable new products from waste and residues.
Using water at near or supercritical temperatures, the Cat-HTR™ converts a wide variety of low-cost, waste feedstocks and residues into high-value products.
The Cat-HTR™ platform has been extensively tested, and conservatively scaled up over the past ten years to its current commercial-ready module, located on the NSW Central Coast, Australia.
Neste announced early January 2019 their collaboration with Licella and ReNewELP in order to utilize waste plastic as a raw material and Cat-HTR™ technology has received extensive global recognition by the scientific and recycling community. This builds upon Licella’s recognition as the global leaders in hydro thermal upgrading.