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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Clip It, is a France based company putting the fun back into children games with their sustainable products. Each game is made from 10% recycled materials and 90% upcycled materials, and they operate in a circular economy which provides solidarity and social benefits.
The assembly games use bottle caps to create shapes and designs. The operation is a circular economy because they are involved in buying materials from a charitable agency (Bouchons D'Amour) that collects plastic caps needed to make the game. The proceeds from the sale of caps go directly to helping the agency who help fund those with disabilities. At the end of the product lifecycle, owners can recycle the game by taking it to the nearest BA point and dropping off the game.
This ingenious idea was created by the founders who are two architects that wish to reduce waste and create sustainability. Giving back to the community is not only done via circular production but also through their regular workshops and educational events based on upcycling.
Their clients include individuals, educational institutes, ergotherapists, artists, and many more. Their team is constantly looking forward to new users. They have created a downloadable leaflet listing all Clip it educational implementations. (Learning to write, count and colors) and they hope to encourage upcycling through education.