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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EcoGlobal is a social enterprise focused on North American expansion of a proprietary technology which transforms plastic shopping bags and other waste such as #4 plastic films, into Ekopolimer, a new material. With this, the company has created Ekomats, which are multipurpose dynamic tools that offer flexibility, slip-resistance, durability and versatility in a wide range of applications.
By preventing damage and increasing accessibility, they will save the customer time and money, while providing a safer working environment. Ekomats have a multiyear lifespan, and can be recycled and reprocessed multiple times without losing the compositional integrity of its material.
Ekomats are engineered from a proprietary technology and low-emissions manufacturing process that converts single-use and “dirty” plastics into Ekopolimer. Ekomats are water-impervious and flexible, and hold up in all-season weather and temperatures (-40F-158F)— outliving and outperforming metal, concrete, wood and other plastics. They also:
Are salt & chemical resistant
Have a high-bearing capacity
Have high-compressive strength and are impact-resistant
Applications include landscape protection, walkways, trails, concerts, festivals, events, job sites, home projects and off ground storage. On an annual basis, their initial production line will convert the equivalent of 2+ billion plastic shopping bags and at full production, Ekopolimer will divert over 180+ million plastic shopping bags from the landfill each month.
Utilize plastic waste, don’t burn or bury it
Create superior, value-added material
Design high performance tools which save time and money
EcoGlobal has been selected by The Sustainable Packaging Coalition and The Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners among five entrepreneurs and startups that are capable of successfully recovering multi-material flexible packaging waste for new uses.