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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Colombier is a family-owned international paper company whose focus is on sustainability. One of their core business is bio-barrier coatings on paperboard substrates. They provide coating services for many environmentally conscious companies who want to serve their customers with sustainably produced coated paperboard products.
Normally packages have a thin plastic coating to make the packaging water or grease resistant. Unfortunately, much of that plastic ends up in our environment.
Instead of using plastic, Colombier has developed a water based, environment friendly and recyclable coating.
The ecological coating is called Colombier Barrier Coating and “This package is different” is notified as a small print on the packaging that use it. Their water and grease resistant coatings are:
Looking and feeling like pure paper or board
High heat resistance
Any paper and paperboard can be coated. Colombier barrier coating line has the following characteristics:
Capacity 60 000 tons / year
Two rod coating units
Basis weight range 40 – 500 g/m2
Coat weight range 4 – 30 g/m2
They apply their ecological barrier coating in Pyhtää, Finland and are ready to make optimum bio-barrier coatings for meeting each customer needs and demands.
The company has paper processing operations in Spain, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Finland, Germany, Czech Republic and Belgium. COLOMBIER is represented through sales offices across Europe.
The Colombier BioBarrier Coating innovation has been selected by the NextGenCup Challenge team among 12 ideas that are pushing the boundaries of material and chemical innovation and sustainable design as they reinvent the fiber cup system.