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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Eagle Vizion specializes in custom optical sorting solutions for a variety of materials, including plastic flakes, metals, minerals, organic materials, fibers and more. They have made a machine that is flexible, capable of adapting to each customers' needs. They sell the machinery either directly to the end user or through a qualified distributor.
Eagle Vizion's R&D of the last years has allowed them to design innovative new sorting machines: Black Polymer Sorter, Melt Sorter, Flake and Micro-Flake Sorter, Color Sorter, and Flake Analyzer, as complements to their already existing NIR Aquila Series and X-Ray Sorter.
How does optical sorting work?
The material to be sorted is fed onto an acceleration conveyor to spread the material to a single layer. A vibratory feeder is typically used to feed the high speed belt.
The material is accelerated and scanned on a single layer at approximately 12 inches from the head pulley.
The material identification is done through an NIR camera. The material is identified according to know NIR spectral image.
The detection across the width of the conveyor is sub-divided into sections or zones. Each zone will activate the ejection process.
There are 2 possible ejection valve configurations: Standard valves, used for most of the plastics to be sorted, or Heavy-duty valves - mainly used for heavier pieces such as wood in C&D.
Once the material has been identified it is then ejected.
Eagle Vizion claims that the machines meet the needs of several sectors of activity to maximize material recovery, value and purity rates, and optimize processing. Their new EVA and EV 4.0 software packages not only supply real-time statistics and alerts but provide built-in intelligence to support decision-making and production optimizing.
Plastics sorting: It is possible to recycle pre-sorted PET, PE, PP, PS, PVC, PLA or even #3-#7 bale, from whole bottles to shredded plastics. Their technology uses NIR analysis to help remove undesirable plastics from your mainstream. The technology can be used for different applications such as: Mixed plastic containers, Shredded plastics, and Flake sorting.
Wood: The wood content in certain Construction and Demolition (C&D) streams can reach 30%. Eagle Vizion has designed its wood sorters for the rough environment of the Construction and Demolition industry. Beefed up air jets, and larger transition chutes make Eagle Vizion's optical wood sorter perfect for wood recovery.
Metal: Metal detection and recovery/removal has become an increasing demand from C&D to Plastic recycler customers. Eagle Vizion has introduced a new option to the optical sorter; a metal detection unit that can detect: Metallic foils such as some found inside Cartons (juice cartons), Electronic pcb boards, and Aluminum cans.