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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Woof&Wow is a project to include Peru’s marginalized weaving talent in the production of sustainable furniture products made from waste PET bottles, in other words by ‘Combining Local Talent with Local Waste‘. With their team, supporters and project partners they have developed the design of a stool and created a production process for PET fabric that is easy to implement in Peru’s weaving communities.
They are active in Peru, Angola, and Sierre Leone. The project aims to eventually develop a replicable model for the upcycling of plastic waste into hand-woven products. we are creating the first piece of aesthetic and durable furniture from upcycled plastic based on local craftsmanship in Peru.
By combining weaving crafts with stripped plastic bottles they make furniture that has a positive impact on the environment and secures the livelihood of the local community. The unique features of PET- the plastic used for the production of bottles- such as its great tensile strength, durability and transparency, form the ideal material to create durable furniture and decoration for both indoor and outdoor purposes.
They are looking for organizations who want to join them in bringing their social and sustainable designs to the market to start making an impact.
Gaspard is an entrepreneur in what he calls transition design. His ambitions for Woof&Wow were to work with waste picking communities to empower them with the plastic processing tools he had been working with since starting with the perpetual plastic project.
Project Manager & Designer
Charlot is a social-political critical architect, but has expanded her field of operations to human centered product design. In Woof&Wow, she combines her aesthetic creativity with social entrepreneurship.