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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Flustix is a product certification mark for consumer protection, the environment and the economy.
Flustix as a sustainability label and certification body tests products and packaging for their use and volume of plastics. Plastic-free as well as plastic-reduced products can be labeled with their symbol. They provide a reliable guide for eco-conscious customers and facilitate CSR for brands.
The Flustix certification mark claims to be the world’s first symbol for plastic purity, registered as a European Union Certification Mark by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and the German Patent and Trade Mark Office. With this registration, Flustix can be considered both a certification mark and a legally protected word and figurative trademark.
At Flustix, they believe that avoiding plastics has to become a focus of corporate CSR-strategies. Flustix is dedicated to plastic reduction and the avoidance of plastic waste. They support the responsible use of fossil fuels and want to respond to consumer demand for less plastic packaging. They also provide information and education about the dangers of plastic overuse. They work in close collaboration with environmental organisations and actively support regulations within plastic production. Flustix supports environmental organisations, research and educational advertising. The topic is widely discussed in the media, politics and society in general.
They label several categories of products:
Tested plastic-free products. Their Plastic Free label will be on Flustix certified goods. To ensure credibility and transparency, Flustix outsources the testing of each product to independent test partner WESSLING . Each product is subject to strict and repeated inspection. The Flustix licenses are monitored on the market by our logo and license partner RAL and a misuse of the certificate is excluded.
Flustix recycled: it is a unique seal that makes the use of plastic recyclates visible. The Flustix certification for recyclates is suitable for products made from recycled material. The certification is based on the certification program - products made of recycled material according to DIN EN ISO 14021 and DIN EN 15343, status: January 2019.
Flustix's goals: public discourse, sustainable consumption and innovative packaging solutions All kinds of products and components on the German, Austrian and Swiss market are qualified to apply for one of their Flustix seals. Each product or component has to pass through a multitiered plastic-testing method prior to the awarding of the Flustix seal. If a company intends to get certified by their independent seal, two items need to be sent to Flustix and partner laboratory WESSLING for testing. The chemical experts at WESSLING test the item thoroughly using the latest analytical methods. These results give conclusive grounds for the awarding of the plastic-free certificate through our licensing partner RAL gGmbH.