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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DEJA™ is a brand of recycled plastic launched in 2019 by Indorama Ventures, a global chemicals company. DEJA™recycles polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles into ingredients that can be used in multiple applications such as packaging, apparel, sportswear and insulation.
The company recycles 140 kilotons of baled bottles every year into recycled plastic ingredients such as flakes, pellets, yarns and fibers.
Flakes from plastic bottles can be used in packaging, for producing fibers, and meet the strength and tenacity criteria for strapping. The pellets are certified food grade packaging and can be used to make new bottles.
The filament fibers include recycled polyester yarn, which is independently certified and traceable with standards such as GRS, Ecomark, RCS, Oeko-Tex 100 and Reach. The fibers can be used to make bedding material, home furnishings, sportswear, outdoor and medical apparel.
The company also produces staple fibers that have a range of industrial applications in automotive sectors for sound and thermal insulation, in industries for thermal insulation and specialised barrier products, and meets standards for hygiene products.
Indorama Ventures operates in 31 countries including the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Thailand and the European Union.
The company aims to invest in chemical recycling process to convert PET and polyester fibers into monomers that can be used to produce a purer version of recycled PET. It is working with government agencies and companies to ensure used PET bottles are sent to its recycling plants, and has a project in Thailand to install waste bins in educational institutes and offices of its corporate partners and customers.