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.
Thank you for your interest in Ubuntoo. You need to create an account to continue.
Please Susbscribe to get free access to our newsletter, solutions database, knowledge resources and more.
Biodegradable Food Service makes and distributes many alternatives in food packaging not based on fossil fuel derivatives. They are all made from non-GMO annually renewable biomass and biobased sources and are carbon neutral. Their collections are Certified BPI compostable, marine degradable, and USDA Bio-preferred.
Earth-To-Go Cutlery is their compostable cutlery line BPI certified to meet ASTM D6400 standards for commercial compostability. They are durable, and FDA approved for food contact.
Earth Maize™ is made from NatureWorks Ingeo PLA biopolymer resins, and has tableware, take-out containers, and food packaging products. It meets ASTM D6400 and D6868 standards for commercial compostable facilities.
Compostable Soup bowls are made of 100% renewable material paper, that is ASTM D6868 compliant, and the lids are ASTM D6400 complaint.
HI-ME (High-5-Me) cups and lids are the replacement for PS coffee cups on the go, manufactured from fully recyclable HMS-PP raw materials, that can withstand temperatures from 14 °F - 248 °F.
Tater Ware is their single-use food service tableware made of potato and vegetable starch; this is not compostable. This range has cutlery, bowls, clam shells, and deli trays.
Kevin Duffy founded the company in 2002 and is currently in charge of it. They moved from Oregon to Missouri in 2011. The Earth-To-Go Cutlery and MaizeWare have won Innovator Awards in 2018. The company’s wares are covered in food and drink as well as business magazines, and they sell within the USA.