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 Cora Ball is the invention of the nonprofit environmental group Rozalia Project. Talking about the Cora Ball, its co-founder Rachael Miller said, "This is a consumer solution for people to be part of by throwing it in their washing machine".
Every time we do laundry, our clothes shed tiny, unseen microfibres (including plastic), which go down the drains of our washing machines and into our waterways. There’s plastic hiding in our waterways and ocean! A standard washing machine's filter cannot catch fibres too small for the human eye to see AND allow water flow.
The Cora Ball was born inspired by the way coral filters the ocean by catching tiny things from flowing water. It swooshes around in the laundry and just like coral, allowing water to flow, while picking up those little pieces of microfibre and catching them in her stalks. This system helps to keep these microfibres out of our waterways and our ocean.
The Cora Ball is entirely made in the USA from 100% recycled/ diverted and 100% recyclable material. They partner with a zero waste injection moulder in Vermont and the assembly/fulfillment center is also located in Vermont. They also partnered with Concept 2, to lower their shipping footprint sharing a truck and producing zero packaging waste between assembly and manufacturing.
Rachael Miller is the co-founder of Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean. It is for her great grandmother that the organization is named. Rachael was the first Executive Director of Rozalia Project. She is now Founder/CEO of the Cora Ball, a consumer-based solution to microfiber pollution.