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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IADYS (Interactive Autonomous DYnamic Systems) is an innovative company created in September 2016 by Nicolas Carlési. Located in Roquefort-la-Bédoule in the south of France, the company designs, develops and delivers Artificial Intelligence & Robotic innovations.
The Sea-neT project, which is IADYS first range of products, is dedicated to the marine ecology with a set of hardware and software solutions (marine vehicles, onboard intelligence systems).. The project’s first solution is completely modular composed of small robots capable of collecting floating waste and oil on the water surface: the Jellyfishbot.
The Jellyfishbot passively captures waste by simply moving toward it. There is low risk of collecting marine life as they usually swim away from the robot. The robot can collect different type of waste thanks to a variety of nets: reusable micro-waste net (180/250/300 microns mesh), reusable milli-waste net (1mm mesh), and the reusable recycled macro-waste net (0,5 to 1cm mesh). With its compact size, the remote-controlled Jellyfishbot can easily access hard-to-reach and/or shallow areas where waste is usually accumulated in any sheltered areas such ports, marinas, lakes, ponds, etc.
A remote-controlled version has been available since 2018 in France and now at an international level. Several cities are already using this product: Cassis, Cannes, Marseille, Monaco, Saint-Tropez, Montpellier, Ajaccio, La Turballe, Dunkirk, Marine Natural Park in Mayotte, Neuchâtel (Switzerland), Singapore, Tokyo (Japan), Norway, and so on.
The Jellyfishbot has been successful cleaning several accidental oil spills and is also regularly used on different industrial sites. A new autonomous version of the Jellyfishbot is currently under development in a testing phase at the Port of Cassis. This new version, ready by end 2020, will revolutionize the way to decontaminate water. It will also pave the way to new applications using cooperation between several robots to clean wider areas more efficiently.
IADYS has received many awards for its innovation and for contributing to preserve the marine environment such as : Orange 5G challenge, Public's Choice awards at the Geneva International Invention fair in 2019 or the Zero plastic waste by 2030 challenge organized by RégionSUD to name a few.