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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Envigreen Biotech India Private Ltd produces India’s first 100% biodegradable substitute to plastics.
Envigreen’s products are made from natural starch, vegetable oil derivatives and vegetable waste. These products are non-toxic to the environment, animals and plants. Evergreen contains no conventional plastics.
The idea of creating these products took shape in 2012 with the support of scientists and environmentalists across the world and was inspired by ‘Swach Bharat’, an initiative taken by the Prime Minister Modi of India.
The company produces 100 % water-soluble and biodegradable pellets & EnviGreen’s products are made from natural starch, vegetable oil derivatives and vegetable waste. These products are claimed to be non-toxic to the environment, animals and plants. EnviGreen contains no conventional plastics at all. It dissolves in hot water (80 degree Celsius) and softens in water at room temperature.
EnviGreen has applied for ISO 17088 Certification studies and CIPET LARPM Bhuvaneshwar is conducting detailed study and analysis on compost ability and biodegradation of the products by EnviGreen Biotech Pvt. Ltd.
With Operations in the Middle East and South-East Asian countries, Envigreen operates from its corporate office in Bengaluru with global ambitions.
The product line includes carry bags, trash bags, aprons, bin liners and laundry bags.