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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I'm green™ polyethylene is a combination of innovation, technology and sustainability.
Braskem was created in August 2002 by the integration of six companies from Odebrecht Group and the Mariani Group. Braskem is currently the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas and the largest producer of polypropylene in the United States. Its production focuses on polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polyvinylchloride (PVC) resins, in addition to basic chemical inputs such as ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, toluene, chlorine, soda, and solvents, among others. Together, they make up one of the most comprehensive portfolios in the industry by also including the green polyethylene produced from the sugarcane, from 100% renewable sources.
Braskem's green ethylene plant was inaugurated in September 2010. The plant is the largest industrial-scale operation in the world producing ethylene made from 100% renewable raw materials, i.e., sugar-cane. The project was conceived and installed in less than two years based on Braskem’s proprietary technology.
I'm green™ polyethylene is a plastic produced 100% from sugarcane ethanol, a renewable raw material, while traditional polyethylenes use raw materials from fossil sources such as oil or natural gas. I'm green™ captures and fixes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during its production, helping to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
It maintains the same properties, performance and versatility of applications of polyethylenes of fossil origin - which facilitates their immediate use in the plastic production chain. For this same reason, it is also recyclablewithin the same recycling chain of traditional polyethylene.
Currently, Braskem supplies I'm green™ renewable source polyethylene to several partners in Brazil and worldwide, operating in the most varied segments of the industry.
In 2017, Braskem started a collaboration with Haldor Topsoe - the world leader in catalysts and technology for the chemical and refining industries. They are now commissioning a pioneering demonstration unit for the development of monoethylene glycol (MEG) from sugar. Located in Lyngby, Denmark, the pilot plant's operation marks a decisive step in confirming the technical and economic feasibility of producing renewable MEG on an industrial scale. The cooperation agreement focuses on developing a new technology for converting sugar into MEG at a single industrial unit, which reduces the initial investment in production and consequently makes the process more competitive. MEG is used to make PET, a resin that is widely used in the textile and packaging industries, especially for making bottles. The global market for MEG currently is at around US$25 billion.