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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Leaf Republic produces plates and tableware made from leaves that are sourced from Asia and South America. Leaf Republic claims that not a single tree has been cut down to make its products.
The company was on Kickstarter and received great funding in due to its 'innovative' concept. After three years of research and development and making prototypes, Leaf Republic is now out with its entire set of leaf tableware. The packaging products consist of leaves & waterproof leaf-made paper. If there is a lid, it is made from bioplastics or recycled plastic.
Pedram Zolgadri is the CEO and Co-Founder of the Leaf Republic. The inception of the company came about when Pedram realized that the raw materials dominating the packaging industry were, carton and Styrofoam, all of which produce large piles of waste and toxic byproducts. Whilst, these materials are widely available, cheap, light and easily transportable; their extensive usage results in polluted water, overexploitation of natural resources and adverse health effects.
Chief Product Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Experienced Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer with a demonstrated history of building and financing companies from the scratch