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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InnoPlastics uses matured technology to process plastic waste into high-quality plastic regranulates.
The company produces around 16,000 tonnes of these each year. Standard products include the following types of granules: LDPE sheets and pipe qualities (transparent, colored, or gray tones); HDPE and HDPE-LDPE mixtures are available in black or color for pipe applications. On request, they can grind, wash, and granulate to order.
Plastic regranulates have versatile applications, are high-quality and cost-effective. For these reasons, their significance to all sectors of the plastics industry is constantly growing. As a producer of plastic regranulates, InnoPlastics is a specialist in this field. InnoPlastics AG, as the successor to Poly Recycling AG, builds on 30 years of experience in plastic recycling. Today it is one of the most respected and professional companies in the industry. Customers for InnoPlastics plastic regranulates include pipe and sheet manufacturers and injection-molding companies in Switzerland and the neighboring EU member states.
According to InnoPlastics, recycling consumes approximately 50 percent less energy than the manufacture of primary plastic. It also generates significantly lower emissions. The eco-balance sheets prove the ecological advantage of plastic recycling. As rubbish in waste incinerators, plastic is a burden on our economy. As an alternative raw material, however, it represents a net gain.
Their process includes:
Quality Assurance: InnoPlastics AG is dedicated to high quality. Application-oriented quality testing is the distinctive feature of InnoPlastics AG’s quality assurance system.
Application-Related Testing: Careful recording of data, from raw material to end product, guarantees traceability. Each product is based on a specification and manufactured according to part lists. The end product is made uniform and finally undergoes an application-related inspection.
Martin Model is the Managing Director of the company based in Eschlikon, Switzerland.