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.
Thank you for your interest in Ubuntoo. We’re excited that you’re here! To continue, you’ll need an account with us.
Go Bamboo is a New Zealand company that’s serious about keeping plastic out of the coastlines, oceans and landfills.
The North Pacific Gyre was first brought to founder's attention by friends over dinner one night. They were dismayed to hear of this sea of plastic twice the size of the state of Texas! They started to pay more attention to what they were buying, making better choices about packaging and choosing non-plastic alternatives when available.
This was going fine until they needed to replace the kids’ toothbrushes. They didn’t buy toothbrushes that day and started to research non-plastic options, but there were none in New Zealand. So they created Go Bamboo with natural toothbrushes using bamboo as an environmentally friendly raw material. As these toothbrushes were pretty popular, the company expanded their range of products to include other household items like pegs, veggie brushes and cotton buds, and they are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to provide simple and sustainable alternatives to the little things we all use every day.
Go Bamboo won the waste minimization section of the 2012 Green Ribbon Awards, which honor outstanding contribution to protecting New Zealand’s environment.
Go Bamboo products are available in New Zealand, Australia, the UK and Japan.