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 mission of Cumapol is to produce sustainable thermoplastic Polyester specialties by combining the different recycling technologies, close the Polyester loop and create a high performance product without using fossil based chemicals. They are continuously expanding and improving their processes and know-how based on mechanical recycling. With the start of their chemical recycling project and the ability to use bio-based monomers, Cumapol is on route to the next level in circularity. Their ultimate goal is a circular PET production facility, we are ready for a sustainable future!
Cumapol offers different services to the polyester industry: Regranulation, Compounding, Crystallization and Solid State Polymerization. They can process both virgin and recycled polyesters. Cumapol is a quality focused organisation that offers flexibility in combination with a high level of automation and the cost and energy efficiency of continuous processes. Typical applications for the polyester grades from their plant are: rigid and flexible packaging, strapping, monofilaments, high tenacity yarns, fibers and other high demanding technical applications. All of their processes are designed to offer the highest standards in terms of quality and efficiency and fulfil all of the relevant health, safety and food contact regulations.
Pioneer in the development of recycled polyester specialities, Cumapol recycles 1 million PET bottles a day into valuable, food contact approved polyester grades (rPET). These grades can be further upgraded to meet the different requirements of their customers. Currently, 60% of their capacity is occupied with the upgrading of recycled PET and 40% with virgin polyester specialties. Cumapol provides recycling solutions for post-consumer and post-industrial polyesters. These recycled polyesters can have the same or better quality, functionality and feel as virgin polyester.
Cumapol is working closely together with the partner companies DuFor, ACES and UPT. Each company has its own expertise and field of activities. The intensified cooperation between these companies allows Cumapol to offer a wider range of products. At the same time they can be more flexible and efficient and assure even higher quality of services and products to their customers. The circle logo’s represents their joint forces and is symbolic for the circular economy loop they pursue.
In collaboration with DSM-Niaga and Morssinkhof, CuRehas been launched with the goal to recycle used polyester waste streams in polyester suitable for high demanding applications like carpets, textile and food packaging.
Marco Brons is the owner and technical director of Cumapol Polyester since 2007. He has been the director as well of DuFor (develops and provides custom made polyesters for any application) since 2008.