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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Musse is a system that provides reusable, tech-enabled takeaway containers for drinks or food.
The company started in Bali, operating a simple cash-deposit cup exchange program, in direct response to the overwhelming plastic pollution created by cafes. From it's Indonesian foundation, it has grown to major markets around the world, demonstrating the power of the circular-economy model in major metropolitan areas. As they grow their network of cafe partners, their aim is to imitate the convenience of single-use containers.
Consumers download the Muuse App and borrow cups and containers through a few simple steps:
Locate cafe partners through the app's interactive map
Grab a cup/container and scan it's QR code to check it out
Return a cup/container at any of the participating restaurant partner locations with a quick scan of the return station and then the container
Muuse coordinates the washing and logistics to ensure products are cleaned and sanitized in accordance with local standards
If the containers are returned within 7 days, the user isn't charged anything for the service. After 7 days, customers are charged US$10 or SG$8 (for Singapore). As of March 2020, the company had signed up 82 partners from different locations.
The system is currently operating in Singapore, San Francisco, and Hong Kong, and is completely free to use. Once they have reached sufficient market saturation, the company plans to roll out a monthly subscription plan. Consumers can join through the app and cafes and corporates can partner in a number of different ways.
This solution was earlier listed as Revolv, which was the previous name for the company.