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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Lactae Hevea has developed a range of high-performance soles for footwear produced from a natural rubber extracted from the milk of the Hevea tree.
The soles manufactured by Reltex and marketed under the Lactae Hevea brand, are made completely from 100% Hevea milk, making them 100% natural latex rubber soles.
The Hevea tree is the only one of 2500 plant species that produces this high-performance polymer. The extraction of the milk contributes to the renewal of the tree, with each harvest allowing the tree to regenerate with a new life cycle. The harvest does not require any deforestation, with each Hevea tree being felled after 25 years and a new one is planted.
To collect the milk, a spiral incision is made on the bark of the Hevea tree. The milk is then refined using a unique artisanal process, following which the natural latex rubber is developed. The resultant polymer has numerous micro air pockets in its structure which provide comfort and shock absorbance to the sole.
Once the rubber from the milk is obtained it is poured into molds and goes through several steps:
The resultant Lactae Hevea soles are made from 100% natural latex rubber and offer high-quality performance.
A biochemical study proved that the sole promotes even distribution of pressure across the wearer's foot, making it frequently recommended by medical professionals.
The soles are available in a range of designs, colors and styles for both men and women. The material is also available in the form of sheets and foams.