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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Since its inception in 1998, the Materials Lifecycle Management Company® (“MLMC”) has focused on the development of economical, environmentally-friendly technology and equipment that seeks to maximize the value of the non-residential, non-hazardous unwanted materials currently being discarded as waste in landfills and incinerators. These include non-recyclable coated paper and cardboard, Styrofoam, plastic films, wood materials and other process or packaging materials.
To that end, MLMC has perfected and patented proprietary technology to turn those same waste materials into a cleaner, cost-effective alternative fuel engineered to either augment or completely replace traditional fossil fuels used in energy intensive industrial processes such as cement and lime manufacturing and power plant operations.
In 2011, the United States Environmental Protection Agency “USEPA” designated their Enviro-Fuelcubes® a “Non-Waste” and “Legitimate” fuel approved for use in Energy Intensive Industrial Processes as an alternative commodity fuel.
Nineteen state regulatory offices have also recognized the benefits of MLMC’s alternative fuel and manufacturing operations.
Their solution for traditionally landfilled or incinerated waste allows them to contract with non-residential waste producers to process their Secondary Recoverable Materials® ("SRM") on a long-term basis. Not only do these companies avoid paying traditionally high disposal fees to existing landfill/incinerator companies, but they are able to achieve zero-landfill goals.