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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Fairwindel has developed compostable baby diapers manufactured from organic materials that return to the raw material upon disposal. This drives a circular economy with lower environmental impact in production and disposal.
Upon research, founder Dominic discovered that disposable diapers consist partly of petroleum products. Being a chemist, Dominic's scientific curiosity was awakened and he found ways to make the absorbent core using potato starch, making the material completely sustainable. This was an important milestone in the biodegradable diaper, following which organic starch was used to make it compostable.
The Fairwindel diapers stand for the company's vision of an ecologically and socially responsible alternative to eco-diapers and conventional diapers.
Dominic is a chemist and maintains contact with scientific research institutes that support their work. Fairwindel has changed even their views and habits towards sustainability. It is not just a project for them, but has become our way of life. They want to change the world and leave our children a better world. That's their motivation.