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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Cyclefi has been established in May 2016 in Greece and introduces a scalable, disruptive, environmentally conscious and first-of-its-kind “GREEN” service, which transforms a previously disposable product (garbage bags for recycling) into selected discounts. The startup offers an innovative rewarding service that interconnects garbage bags for recycling and sticker tags with unique QR codes, with selected coupons related to household's expenses in order to incentivize citizens to recycle.
Cyclefi, strongly believes that people are driving the recycling performance. As consumers play an integral part in the success of their solution, a well-designed customer-centric solution, which can achieve greater impact and increased recycling performance, by incorporating a choice of attractive reward schemes to its offerings, can influence consumers boost their motivation and maintain a long-term engagement.
As a result: recycling volumes are increased, socially responsible behavioural change is fuelled and savings are maximized all together creating a strong sense of community contribution. Municipalities can save money every time waste is diverted from the landfills because of increased recycling, which at the bottom-line results to a lot of savings. Recycling companies get increased recycling volumes of high quality recyclables, generating an incremental revenue.
The startup feel it is in right place at the right time and that they are at the cusp of making a hugely positive impact on environment, society as well as on wallets around the world. Cyclefi is currently in their soft-launch phase in Greece and includes already over 100 businesses (brands and e-shops) as rewarding providers. Thus, every Cyclefi user has the chance to recycle with the unique recycling bags which will find in PoS all over Greece and at the same time saves money from his daily expenses.