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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Just Wateris 100% ethically sourced spring water in a paper bottle, cutting carbon emissions by 74% compared to standard plastic bottles.
The bottle is made mostly from plants and is 100% recyclable. The bottle uses paper because it is derived from trees that are responsibly harvested and which are renewable, as they grow back naturally. Using renewable materials contributes to lowered carbon emissions. The paper used in a JUST bottle comes from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) ®. The FSC guarantees that the paper pulp used in our bottles comes from healthy forests and strong communities. The cap is made from sugarcane.
The bottles have only two dimensions. The water bottles are made from flat rolls that ultimately get folded into shape when they are filled. This way, 1.5 million of bottles can be shipped in a truck, which requires fewer trucks and in turn, less energy. Shipping the same number of fully-formed plastic bottles would take 13 trucks.
The team took a lot of care in designing and making the packaging. The materials and processes used for making the package result in much less harmful emissions, primarily CO2, compared to a standard heavyweight PET plastic bottle.
The water bottles are sorted in the recycling stream like a milk or juice carton. Cartons contain high value materials and are 100% recyclable alongside metal, plastic and glass.
People reuse the bottles because they’re easy to refill.
Ira joined JUST because he shares the responsibility, mission and urge to accelerate the transition to sustainable drinking and social impact for future generations, and promote the importance of environmental issues. With 17 years of experience leading better-for-you CPG companies in the Natural /Specialty food industry, he has also been an advisor and board member for emerging brands.