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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Colorado-based Liviri manufactures insulated, adaptable reusable storage boxes for the food and packaging industry.
It is estimated that food and packaging containers contribute to nearly 45% of the landfill waste in the US. Liviri aims to tackle the issue with a range of reusable super box containers with high-performance storage for a variety of products.
Liviri offers three different products in its reusable box range:
Liviri Shuttle: Working in partnership with grocers, food companies and produce shippers. Delivers 12+ hours of thermal performance, keeping perishable products fresh. Delivered with custom ice packs that fit flexibly inside.
Liviri Vino: Shipping coolers exclusively for the wine industry, with 4 and 6 bottle capacity. Secure latches keep the box tamper-proof which also offers 5 days of thermal protection. Delivered with custom ice packs, vacuum insert panels and durable wine inserts.
Liviri Fresh: A cold shipping box for home delivery of temperature-sensitive perishable items with a circular service model. Equipped with quick clips for safety and reusable custom ice packs for temperature control. The empty container can be shipped back to Liviri, saving space and establishing a circular system.
The containers are durable, lightweight, reusable and adaptable to specific needs of the user. With its products, Liviri provides a cost-effective and sustainable solution to perishable food and packaging stakeholders.
Liviri's boxes can be used for meal kits, seafood, meat, produce, juices and more. The brand has conducted an independent life-cycle assessment for the Liviri Fresh circular system.
Liviri was launched in 2019 and is currently running pilot programs to test its products.