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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Ecoplasteam is a "start up innovativa" founded in 2017 to produce EcoAllene, an innovative new material (group of materials) made from recycling polylaminated waste/material, i.e. made of a plastic layer and a metal layer.
The innovation lies in the opportunity to create a new ecological plastic material that has a wide variety of uses. It recycles items that are otherwise sent to landfill or for incineration, such as packaging for fluid foodstuffs, bags for oily products, sweet wrappers, “non-compostable” pods for hot drinks, etc.
The products are made with a patented production process. The patent is the result of an experimentation that ended with the construction of a pilot plant that allowed industrial production for widespread sampling in various industrial sectors.
Its innovation base consists in the treatment of waste without proceeding to the separation of the two or more components (plastic film + metal film), keeping them aggregated in the new formulation through the production process. This reduces the costs of recycling allowing an important competitiveness of the finished products in the marketing phase compared to the directly competing material, the plastic.
The first plant is in Spinetta Marengo (Alessandria, Italy), the directional offices are in Turin, and their legal address is in Milano.