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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Born from the combination of Eco-Emballages and Ecofolio, Citeo was created by companies to reduce the environmental impact of packaging and paper. Its goal is to combine economic and environmental performance by imagining solutions that advance recycling at the lowest cost, and by giving everyone the desire to act on a daily basis.
The Citeo Circular Challenge is a scheme to detect innovation, essentially in the paper and packaging sectors. The main objective is to identify, support and accelerate the development of projects able to bring solutions to present-day socio-environmental issues. Since 2016, Circular Challenge has identified over 500 projects across the entire worldwide circular economy value chain.
Eco-friendly materials; new sorting, collection or recycling solutions - Citeo's International Circular Challenge rewards those international start-ups offering environmental solutions that are set to become part of the circular economy.
Out of the hundreds of applications received, they have selected six finalists who won a learning expedition in Paris (3 days of coaching with potential customers and circular economy experts on march 19th, 20th and 21th, 2019):
You can play a role in selecting the winning company by voting HERE
Prize for the winning team:
A network of over 50,000 clients and 700 local authorities
Accelerated market access with the operational networks of the eco-organisation and its partners offering business and industrial opportunities (5 appointments with key deciders to be chosen from a list).
The result will be announced in Paris on March 21, 2019 on the occasion of the Hacking of the City Hall in which our finalists will be participating.