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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Looptworks is an upcycling company, repurposing abandoned, pre-consumer and post-consumer waste to produce a selection of accessories, apparel, cases and more.
The average US citizen discards about 70 pounds of textiles each year as post-consumer waste. Additionally, the cancellation of product shipments and the presence of deadstock and fabric liability contributes to excess materials, termed as pre-consumer waste.
Looptworks intercepts these waste materials headed for landfills and acquires excess industrial materials, utilizing them to produce new, limited edition items.
Through upcycling, Looptworks not only repurposes materials into items of high quality but also saves resources, energy and landfill space in the process.
Looptworks identifies and sources high-quality leftover materials from vendors. Following this, a product is carefully designed to not just create something from waste, but to create something beautiful.
The items are then manufactured from the acquired scrap at Looptwork factories. Once produced, each item is sold with a Looptworks lifetime guarantee.
Looptworks has partnered with multiple brands to produce limited-edition upcycled items including:
Southwest airlines, 2014: transforming 80,000 discarded leather seats into quality purses and duffel bags.
Delta Airlines, 2018: repurposing about 350,000 pounds of retired uniforms into backpacks, travel kits, passport holders and other accessories.
NBA team Blazers, 2019: upcycling old jerseys into duffel bags, backpacks, hip packs and pillows.
Looptworks offers a range of products from backpacks and holders to laptop cases. Items can be ordered through their official website.
Each product comes with a lifetime warranty. Products are shipped internationally as well.