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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Clariter is an international cleantech group with proprietary technology and innovative solutions for the world’s plastic waste problem. Clariter has created a revolutionary recycling process that ends life for more than 60% of all plastic waste types by transforming them into high-value industrial products such as solvents, oils, and waxes.
Clariter's solution consists of three unique stages:
Continuous Thermal Cracking Stage Where plastic waste (mainly Polylefins) is converted into a wide range of Hyrocarbons.
Multi Stage Refining Removing all impurities (mainly heteroatoms like sulphur, nitrogen, Chloride), improving hydrocarbons properties and transforming aromatic and olefin compounds, leading to respectively naphthenic and paraffinic hydrocarbons.
Distillation of refined fractions The distillation of refined fractions into usable CLARIPRODUCTS, are blended into various product families of solvents, oils and waxes.
The technology is proven through a Research & Development Pilot plant in Gliwice, Poland, and an Industrial-scale plant in East London, South Africa.