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 Resources is reshaping the economics of using lignocellulosic biomass to replace petrochemicals in thousands of everyday products.
A sustainable bio-based economy needs alternatives to non-renewable feedstocks. Their Glycell™process significantly reduces the cost of transforming renewable and abundant biomass into high-purity cellulosic sugars, a key ingredient in bio-based production.
There are currently five billion tonnes of biomass available worldwide, enough to produce $750 billion worth of cellulosic sugars per year.
Using waste glycerol from biodiesel production, Glycell™ produces cellulosic sugars, lignin and refined glycerol.
The Glycell™ process is highly efficient. The technology yields 25% more high-purity sugars, faster and using lower pressure and temperature than rival biomass transformation technologies. WHAT SUPPORT THIS CLAIMS?
Co-products from the Glycell™ process lignin and refined glycerol, can be sold to generate additional revenue streams reducing the operating costs of cellulosic sugar production. During the Glycell™ process, glycerol is refined from 80% to 95% purity. Purer form glycerol is a higher value product suitable for more refined industrial requirements.
Proven to work effectively on different types of biomass, Glycell™ breaks down woody and non-woody feedstock including eucalyptus, poplar, bagasse, empty fruit bunch and corn stover. The process is applicable to agricultural and forestry waste or non-food crops grown on marginal agricultural land.
Malaysian government's ministry of international trade and industry awarded in 2018 a manufacturing licence to Leaf for a biomass refinery south-east of Kuala Lumpur.