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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APK is an innovative industrial leader in the production of high-quality plastics from post-industrial and post-consumer plastic waste.
With a novel solvent-based recycling technology, pure polymers for plastic applications with a new product character are obtained from plastic mixtures and composites. This closes the material cycles worldwide and makes a sustainable contribution to the environment and the responsible use of resources.
APK manufactures high-quality plastics (LDPE, HDPE, PP), plastic mixtures and compounds made of pre- and post-consumer plastic wastes. The process is based on proprietary solvent-based physical technology.
This solvent-based Newcycling® technology enables them to produce, pure granulates with properties similar to virgin plastics from complex waste streams, e.g. mixed plastic waste and multi-layer packaging, whereby the process is economically and ecologically efficient.
In comparison to chemical recycling, the plastic is retained and does not have to be repolymerized using energy and cost-intensive processes.
Their large-scale pilot plant is funded by MIG Fonds and AT Newtec, and is situated in Merseburg, Germany, and the various departments include production, R&D and administration.
Their process makes customer-specific manufactured compounds or intermediate products. The secondary plastics are marketed under the trademarks of Mersalen Recompounds and Mersamid plastics.
The plastic they make from LDPE, HDPE and PP is good for making films/extrusion products, blow moulded products, tubes, and injection moulded products.
The one recycled from multi-layer plastic packaging - PE & PA, and PP & FPP is also possible. The recycled plastic can be used to make pipes, films, bottles, pallets, paddocks, turf grid, parts of packing, and building materials.
The company was founded in 2008, and has won the Roland Berger Strategy Consultants award.
Klaus Wohnig is the Managing Director at APK. He is a experienced CEO/CFO with a demonstrated executive history of working in several industries. Skilled in Finance, Investor Relations, Start-up Ventures, Sales, Accounting, and Business Development. He holds a degree in Business Administration (Diplom-Kaufmann (Univ.) from KU Eichstätt WFI Ingolstadt