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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CupCycling™ by James Cropper offers a recycling process dedicated to upcycling take-away cups. The company saves them from landfill and incineration, and turns them into beautiful papers.
Their unique process removes the tricky polyethylene lining that makes takeaway cups waterproof while preserving the precious paper fibers. The polyethylene is recycled by their reprocessing partner, and their paper fibers are ready to upcycle. They make bespoke, luxury paper for brands all over the world with their CupCycling™ fibers. The novel paper-based alternative to molded plastic packaging is named Colourform. This is fully recyclable and available in any shape or texture.
Their plant has a capacity to recycle 500 million cups per year. Working with supply chain partners and brands who care about the environment, they want to drastically reduce the 2.5 billion take-away cups estimated to be thrown away in the UK each year.
Cupcycling at James Cropper has been selected as recycling partner for four projects which were winners in 'The Cup Fund' event launched by Starbucks and the environmental charity Hubbub - the U.K.’s largest grant fund to bolster and scale paper cup recycling.
Mark has led family business James Cropper (established in 1845) since 2010. He is the sixth generation chairman. James Cropper has been a world leader in coloured paper for over 170 years used in numerous markets from fine art to luxury retail.