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.
Stop! Micro Waste aims to explore and initiate great ideas on how to avoid, replace and re-use plastics in everyday life and beyond. The organisation works on raising awareness, creating solutions and doing research.
The STOP! Plastic Academy spreads knowledge about the (micro)plastic issue and implements local solutions to prevent plastic from entering into nature. With the Ocean College, they operate a research sailboat to train young adults to become certified STOP! Plastic Academy coaches.
In this context, they developed The Guppyfriend washing bag which is a micro filter for laundry and textiles. It is a patented solution that filters out the tiniest microfibers released from textiles during washing. The self-cleaning fabric bag is made of a specially designed micro-filter material. Simply collect the fibers and dispose them of properly.
The bag can be purchased through their website HERE.
They have partnered with Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT and the German Textile Research Institute (DTNW), to conduct washing tests. With the data they improve solutions, establish the Fiber Loss Quantification Standard - a standardized washing test – and inform customers and industry to better address the microfiber challenge.