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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EnviroPAK is a premier manufacturer of molded pulp packaging for the interior protection of a wide range of products including custom applications for trays, clamshells and end caps.
Founded in 1995, EnviroPAK’s mission is to provide sustainable molded pulp packaging solutions to businesses that are cost-efficient, space-saving and environmentally friendly. Its central U.S. location allows EnviroPAK to produce protective packaging for electronics, computer, food and beverage, service, medical and telecommunication markets.
Crafted from 100% recycled newspaper, molded pulp (or molded fiber) was originally used to make egg cartons over 100 years ago. Today the material offers a cost-efficient, time saving, space-saving, and sustainable solution that can positively affect your bottom line while giving customers piece of mind about their company’s commitment to the environment.
EnviroPAK’s Molded Pulp Packaging and their company is committed to sustainability:
Biodegradable: completely disintegrates, contrasting with EPS and other foams that remain for hundreds of years. 100%
Recycled: made from recycled newsprint, saving both energy and resources.
Fully Recyclable: in either curbside collection or back to source for re-use.
European Green Dot Compliant: broadens your market to European customers.
Conforms To ISO 14000 Standards: appealing to strict requirements of ISO-compliant purchasers.
Uses Renewable Resources: newsprint is a renewable raw material unlike EPS and plastic resins, which are petroleum based.
Compostable: appeals to the broadest spectrum of consumers.
EnviroPAK’s award-winning in-house design team has been recognized for their packaging including an award from the Institute of Packaging Professionals AmeriStar Gold and a Technology and Innovation Award from the St. Louis Economic Council.