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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Gone4Good is a compostable (commercial compost) stand-up pouch made from renewable, plant-based, non-GMO materials and compostable inks.
Plastic packaging makes up over one sixth of the waste in United States landfills. It also sickens millions of fish and birds when they mistake it for food, and might even end up floating in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Some of this trash could have been recycled, but much of it can't – an estimated 17 BILLION plastic pouches were made in 2013, not one of them recyclable or compostable.
Gone4Good because goes back to where it came from when its useful life is over. With zero waste. The pouch is made of two layers. The outside layer is made from FSC eucalyptus and birch trees called NatureFlex(TM), produced by Innovia. The inside layer is made from a certified commercially compostable resin called Mater-Bi®. Mater-Bi® is produced by Novamont, an Italian research company dedicated to environmental alternatives to polyethylene-based plastics. Mater-Bi® is an innovative family of bioplastics that uses substances obtained from plants, such as but not limited to, non-genetically modified corn starch, and compostable polymers obtained both from renewable raw materials and fossil raw materials. The Non-GMO corn is sourced from a farm in Italy.
The ink is made from pigments which have been tested for toxicity, ecotoxicity, heavy metals as well as disintegration. Currently, all individual layers of the pouch are certified compostable. The pouch structure and its individual layers have passed tests for compostability - ASTM D6400.
Gone4Good makes its debut in the form of Alter Eco's Heirloom Quinoa pouches. They are also members of OSC2 (Organic Sustainable Community), a coalition of forward-thinking brands working together to change the face of packaging.