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 Dutch rental sector owns about 40% of all housing in the Netherlands. Kitchen renovations in this sector create 40.000 tons of chipboard waste annually. The sector thus carries a huge responsibility in the transition towards a Circular Economy. Chainable is a Dutch start-up aiming to aid in this transition.
They are introducing the first circular Kitchen-as-a-Service (K-a-a-S) concept. They maintain ownership of their kitchens and therefore take responsibility for their products during the entire lifecycle. They have teamed up with key production partners, and together, they guarantee that used materials serve as raw materials for the Chainable kitchens of the future. In addition, they aim to reduce the energy use of the housing sector.
Gas and electricity use are responsible for 90% of the CO2 emissions in rental houses. Through K-a-a-S they make premium energy-efficient devices available for all. Together with their key-partners, landlords, and renters, they want to take consumers on the road to 100% circular living.