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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Litterati is a global community that's aims at cleaning the planet, from students in South Africa to activists in Italy, and Neighbors across the US. The company works by collecting tons of data in the process, helping businesses and communities identify the root of the problem and drive change.
Litter is everywhere. Soda cans, plastic bags, and cigarette butts litter the environment, choke wildlife, and threaten our planet. Litterati is tackling this problem one piece of litter at a time.
It started with one person picking up a single cigarette and has transformed into a global movement in 100+ countries. Litterati is an app that encourages users to pick up and track litter. The app plans to let users join groups, so that schools, clubs, and other communities can track their collective efforts rather than having to go solo. It will also introduce maps, so litter-pickers can see what else is being picked up in their neighbourhoods. The goal of the app is to track personal impact and that of the Litterati community. The company uses technology which used develops behavioural insight, map problem areas, and mitigate future risk.
The app works this way -
Users take photos of each piece of litter that they collect and dispose.
The users then identify the location and add tags to each litter photo to describe the item and/or brand type.
Once the user uploads their photos, the data is tracked and analysed. Photo, keyword, and location data is then used to work with companies and organizations to find more sustainable solutions.
Litterati tracks how many pieces of litter the user has uploaded, and rewards users with special messages once they reach specific landmarks. Litterati leverages mobile technology to photograph and identifies the world’s litter with the goal of leaving the world better than they found it.