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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Green Alley award's mission is to turn the linear into a circular economy and transform the waste and recycling industry as we know it today.
This annual European prize was created in 2014 by Landbell Group, the leading supplier of global environmental services, along with Germany’s crowdfunding pioneer, Seedmatch. Over time, more partners have joined – Bethnal Green Ventures, a UK accelerator programme for startups using tech for good, and R2Pi, an EU Horizon 2020 project on circular economy business models. Together, they nurture and promote promising business ideas that use new services, products and technologies to turn waste into a resource.
They are looking for startups based in Europe who want to tackle the global waste challenge using:
Digital circular economy solutions,
Ideas for waste prevention.
Applicants should follow just two steps to submit their application:
Upload their customized pitch deck (link provided at the end of the application form).
Guidelinesare provided to give applicants the best chance of success!
Applications open on 25 March 2019.
The deadline to apply: 25 June 2019, 0:00 CET.
A committee of experts will analyse the pitch decks and six finalists will be announced in September 2019.
Prize: An all-day event in Berlin provides great networking and learning opportunities, and the big pitch final in the evening offers plenty of benefits for the six finalists, as well as the one and only winner:
All six finalists will receive feedback from high-ranking circular economy experts and startup mentors as well as networking opportunities and new business contacts, pitch to potential investors and the media.
The winner will receive also 25,000 Euro in cash.
The crowdfunfing partner Seedmatch will provide a crowd award: a one-day workshop conditioning the finalists for their perfect crowd campaign as well as individual support for the startups and their campaign with an exclusive media package and budget.