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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Living Ink TechnologiesLLC is a biomaterials research and product company developing environmentally safe and sustainable color pigments grown from algae. These products are the next generation of printing ink and pigments designed for the circular economy.
The company was founded by two PhD candidates in the Cell and Molecular Biology Program at Colorado State University.
Researches and develops novel technologies using algae as ink and licenses rights to established companies within the toy, greeting card, promotional products, and ink industries;
Grows and sells algae ink to all licensees of Living Ink products.
They translate complex science into innovative, and user-friendly products to promote their mission of spreading passion for science, while positively impacting the environment.
They are commercializing a bio-based carbon black pigment, while developing colors.
Scott is an entrepreneur and through the creation of Living Ink Technologies in 2013, he is using biotechnology to make sustainable materials; developing a novel bio-based, renewable carbon black replacement.