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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Feltwood converts organic agricultural waste into ecological building materials as an alternative to plastic-based materials.
The food and agricultural industry generates large amounts of waste which can be effectively repurposed into useful products. With their technology, Feltwood can convert the waste into the eco-friendly, toxin and plastic-free materials.
The technology carries out the process in two simple steps:
Agricultural waste is acquired from waste generating or managing companies and is transformed into Feltwood Raw Material.
Feltwood Raw Material is 100% biodegradable and can be molded into products that are durable and compostable.
The agricultural waste is sourced from a variety of crops, with lettuce, artichoke, and pineapple being the most common.
Currently, Feltwood offers the following products made from Feltwood Raw Material:
Feltwood Anti-Impact: Lightweight and shock-absorbent protective packaging
Feltwood Insulator: Construction material for thermal insulation
Feltwood Flexible: Versatile material suitable for light packaging for fruits
Feltwood Strong: Moldable strong and compact material
The Feltwood material is non-toxic, sustainable and highly durable. The production process is four times cheaper than the one of plastic materials.
With a variety of compositions and flexibility, Feltwood products have a wide range of applications in different industries like packaging, furniture, construction, instruments, and toys among others.
Feltwood aims to partner with Waste Management firms for agricultural waste collection and with manufacturers to process Feltwood Raw Material into industrial products for commercial use. Feltwood wishes to sell the technology to their partners for the production of industrial products.
With validation for their first industrial plant, Feltwood aims to expand the technology primarily in Europe with a focus on the Nordic countries.
So far, Feltwood has partnered with Nestle, Impact Hub, EIT Food and Ship2B among others.