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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E6PR™(Eco Six Pack Rings) was founded by WeBelievers,Entelequiaand a group of seasoned investors in the packaging industry in 2017.
Their mission is to harness the power of creative insight and innovative technology to deliver sustainable products that transform the packaging industry and have a positive environmental impact.
The E6PR™ is the first ecofriendly six pack ring made from by-product waste and other compostable materials, designed to replace the plastic rings, which are truly damaging to our environment. When disposed of properly, the E6PR™ finds its way to a compostable facility, where it will degrade in days, and when, unfortunately, left out in open land or a water system, it will degrade in a matter of weeks.
Some awards E6PR has accomplished are:
2016 Gold Cannes Lion in Product Innovation
2016 Gold Clio Awards in Environmental Issues
2016 Packaging Design Award in Yellow and Pencil, D&AD
2016 Design in “El Ojo de Iberoamerica”, Grand Prix
Best of 2016 Innovations, by “Now this Future”
Best of 2016, by “Creativity-Online”
2017 Packaging Design Award in Wood Pencil, D&AD
Winner of the 2017 World Changing Ideas, by Fast Company