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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Liquidseal is a Dutch origin company, which provides proven protection for fruits and flowers during every step in the supply chain.
Extending a product’s shelf-life has been an important goal for people at almost all points on the supply chain and achieving this means less product loss, less food waste, and more efficiency. Liquidseal can reduce the product wastage and use of pesticides and plastic for packaging by maintaining the quality of products throughout the supply chain.
Liquidseal provides unique postharvest recipes for growers and wholesalers in the floriculture and horticulture sector to extend the shelf life and improve the quality of the product and reduce the product loss during the process of post-harvest, transports, storage, and sale in a sustainable and cost-effective manner.
The company has developed an ultrathin packaging solution that is fully biodegradable used for perishable products like cut flowers and fruits only:
Flowers: It is available for Carnations, Gerberas, Roses, and lily bulbs. It reduces evaporation, delays metabolism, controls botrytis infections, extends vase life and vase presentation of these cut flowers.
Fruits: It is available for Avocado, Citrus, Mango, and Papaya. It extends their shelf life by decreasing weight loss, controlling infections and improves the taste and appearance.
Liquidseal is one of the winners of Finture Solution 2019 in the Agrifood, Water and Energy section and also received CAAE which is the Spanish authority in the field of certification of organic production and product. They have developed recipes that are fully compliant with US FDA and European regulations regarding Food Contact Materials (FCM).
The company work worldwide with dedicated representatives and distributors in Spain, Turkey, South America (Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico), South Africa and Kenya. These distributors can be contacted through the Liquiseal website.
This solution can benefit floriculture and horticulture sectors and also the consumers. It can extend the moment of sales, open new markets, provide greater flexibility in (sea) transportation and reduce the supply chain cost.