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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Savana Solutions was founded in 2016 and has developed the app "MyCleanCity", where people can report problems with waste and other problems in the municipality.
It all started with a competition: The Startup in Residence Program The Hague 2016. The Municipality of The Hague has made it possible for their residents to take part in trying to solve major issues which the city faces. One of these was the issue of ORAC bijplaatsingen (also known as waste placed besides underground waste disposal containers). This issue has a negative impact on the atmosphere in the neighbourhood, but it also attracts vermin (seagulls, cats & rats). That is why the team set out to develop a mobile solution, together with the help of the Municipality and the residents they created the My Clean City app!
The app offers users a simple, yet effective way to manage their household waste more efficiently, as well as making sure the surrounding areas of their neighbourhood comply with waste management regulations too. The approach of the app is to make everyone more responsible for their own actions when it comes to littering.
With the App on your phone you can easily report the issue to those who would deal with it. Not just that, you will get credit points which you can later spend for voucher, certificates or for adopting a tree of your choice.
Beside that, My Clean City App allows its users chances to report things like cracked pavement, graffiti, dog poop and way more. This way not only people solve the problems with waste or others in their neighbourhood, but they can get benefits for doing so.
There is no need to give out the phone number or Facebook details to the neighbours in order to connect. People can simply use it and have a forum connecting all of their neighbourhood. Each can post messages, advertisements and more.
A pilot scheme took placein the Laak Kwartier area of The Hague by using the prototype app and was very successful as there was 20% reduction in litter and waste on the street in 3 months of pilot. The program is about to being launched by the municipality of The Hague.