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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Fibersort is a cutting-edge automated sorting technology that sorts large volumes of mixed post-consumer textiles by fiber type, with accuracy.
In the linear economy, large quantities of valuable fabrics are discarded as waste or down-cycled during textile recycling processes.
Fibersort is a critical link in the transition towards a circular supply chain, thus enabling textile material to pass cost-effectively repeatedly through the supply chain. Here is how it works:
The technology automatically sorts mixed garments and finished products by composition, color, and structure of the fibers.
It uses an Optical sorting technology based on Near-Infrared Spectroscopy.
The technique is sensitive to molecular absorption in the near-infrared part of the spectrum of organic constituents. Because all clothes have organic constituents, there is no limit to the type of fabrics that can be recognized and sorted into homogenous categories of fiber.
It is a semi-automatic device that needs a feed of non-assembled garments in a sequence of one piece at a time. Therefore, the supply of garments to the system is done by automated feeding. After separating assembled garments such as coats and jackets, two robots on the line with a camera detects where the textiles are, and an extended arm of 2 meters in length takes the singular item out of a pile and places them on a conveyor belt piece by piece into the scanning system. The items are scanned by the device based on previously defined details of the desired fabric category and sort them out using pressurized air. The sorting machine can handle 45 different categories consisting of a combination of 15 color types and 15 fiber types. The entire process coverts low-value waste into a reliable, consistent material supply for producing new high-value textile.
Fibersort was developed by Wieland Textile, Reshare, Valvan Baling Systems, Circular Economy, Procotex, Worn Again, and Smart Fiber Sorting together to close the loop in textiles Industry.