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.
Thank you for your interest in Ubuntoo. We’re excited that you’re here! To continue, you’ll need an account with us.
Natural Fiber Welding develops sustainable leather and fabrics from agricultural waste, providing an alternative to plastic products.
While vegan alternatives to animal leather eliminate the carbon footprint caused by cattle raising, the raw material is generally sourced from plastics like polyurethane. Other ethical sources like mushrooms and collagen although natural, may require plastic resin or glue. The techniques may also be difficult to scale up.
With their technology, Natural Fiber Welding has developed high-performance sustainable fabrics from plant sources which are also scalable.
The patent-pending technology utilizes their welding platform to mold together various plant products to create a 100% natural fabric without any synthetic or plastic component.
Currently, Natural Fiber Welding offers three materials:
Plant-Based Leather: The material is 100% plant-based. Available in several colors with a matte finish. They can be stitched, put through machines or molded.
Hardscapes: The material is upcycled from denim waste. The product is durable and available in different colors.
Performance Fabrics: The material is welded from cotton and is created with a closed-loop system. The material is odor resistant, durable with antimicrobial properties and is available in various colors.
The production process leaves behind zero waste and wastewater. No petroleum-based glues or chemicals are used. Natural Fiber Welding does not require raw material to be sourced from natural fiber sources.
The resultant process is global, sustainable and easily scalable.
Natural Fiber Welding aims to introduce limited edition leather products in the market in 2019, with a larger rollout in 2020.