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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MSS, Inc. designs and manufactures next-generation optical sorting technology for use in the waste and recycling industry. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, they are a division of CP Group, one of the world’s leading providers of waste diversion solutions and manufacturer of material recovery facilities.
MSS claims that their optical sorting systems sort up to 40 times faster than a human being. They developed their own sensor hardware and technology from the ground up - designing, building, testing and implementing optical sensing technologies that include digital signal processing, application-specific identification algorithms, intuitive, and user-friendly interface software.
MSS prides itself in providing automated optical sorting solutions to all sectors of the recycling and waste management industry. Their innovative sensor technologies provide an array of recycling businesses with the opportunity to increase their efficiency, throughput and, ultimately, the bottom line. Whether you are a processor and recycle of single-commodities such as plastics, paper, glass, wood, metals, and electronic scrap or if you are an operator of a facility for mixed materials such as dual-stream, single-stream, MSW, C&D, C&I, etc., they claim to have a solution.
With the purchase of an MSS machine, they also provide technical support that includes life-time free phone and remote support.
Greg Thibado, is the MSS vice president of the San Diego based company. MSS entered the recycling business in 1977. They are featured by many recycling publications.
Ashley Davis, the Director of Sales & Marketing since 2016, has worked for more than seven years at MSS. Before that she was the Executive Team Leader- Hardlines & Operations at Target for an year. She has a MBA from the San Diego State University-California State University.