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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SunState Laboratories is committed to developing innovative, cost-effective, environmentally responsible household cleaning products. Their goal is to go beyond green formulations and address the global concern of plastic waste being dumped into our environment. The company have launched Dazz, a range of innovative and eco-friendly cleaning products in an easy to use tablet form.
There is a need to reduce the amount of plastic used for detergents and other cleaning liquids, and decrease the carbon footprint/emissions produced by their transport and shipping. These emissions are produced largely out of the shipping bottles full of foamy liquids, made up mostly with water, from the manufacturer, to retailer to consumer.
The tablet form solution that Dazz provides reduces drastically the environmental impact of shipping and transport while making the customers pay only for the cleaning ingredients and not for the water that can be added at home, using one environmentally friendly bottle again and again. This reduces production of plastic waste, and, is far more cost effective. Customers aren't paying from the plastic bottle, shipping and handling charges, and large amounts of water, just the cleaning chemical.
One other interesting benefit from their tablet approach is in manufacturing: SunState Laboratories manufactures DAZZ in a plant that is less than 4,000 square feet. They operate as a zero-waste facility and don’t even have a dumpster on site. They claim to be producing no air pollution or waste water and consuming about the same energy as an average home. With this highly efficient manufacturing process, they can match the output of a huge, full-scale bottling facility that’s measured in acres, not square feet, produces both air and water pollutants, and consumes large amounts of energy with its production.
The Dazz range of bathroom cleaner, window/glass cleaner, and all-purpose cleaner tablets need only to be dropped into a bottle of tap water, and once dissolved, form a detergent solution to rival anything on the market. The tablets are made of ingredients extracted from plant and mineral sources. They give the option of buying a starter kit and the refill boxes include 4 refill tablets.
For now, Dazz cleaning tablets are available online through their website and on Amazon. The launch is planned around May 15, 2019 and DAZZ will offer a free product trial to allow potential customers to discover how easy it is to use and how well it cleans.
The company is now doing a fundraising to help with the cost of their new plant in Denver and R&D activities. They are planning on introducing 8 new products in the next 6-9 months, based on the same tablet concept.