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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CUPFORCUP was founded in 2017 in Düsseldorf with the aim of developing a modern and sustainable way of enjoying coffee-to-go.
Coffee means living and lifestyle. We even like to enjoy our coffee on the move. But disposable cups cause tons of waste and harm our environment. Therefore, CUPFORCUP developed an easy way for sustainable coffee-to-go with a special reusable cup – THE GOOD CUP.
THE GOOD CUP is available at many outlets like cafés, bakeries and petrol stations for a small deposit of 1 Euro and can be returned to all participating outlets that are available in more than 40 cities.
The cup is:
Dishwasher safe at least 500 times
Made of Polypropylene (PP) so 100% recyclable, BPA*-free, without PAHs*
Developed in cooperation with baristas and available in 2 sizes (200 and 300 ml)
Fits with standard lids (80 mm/90 mm)
Made in Germany
They work with:
Business catering: they service in-house cafes, canteens, restaurants, coffee points, that can become part of the open return-reuse system or can run their own customized return-reuse system.
Initiatives and festivals: they support and consult initiatives which want to organise a return-reuse system for their town or region. They also provide customised cups and communications for festivals or events.
Municipalities and communities: they can develop individual solutions for each town or region. They can also provide with customised cups and communications.
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Düsseldorf, Germany, Europe
Stage of Development
In Market TRL 9
Value Chain Impact
Reduce / Reuse, Product / Package
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