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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NOHBO was formed in 2015 and launched its Drop line after 3 years of research & development, and thousands of hours spent in the lab till breakthroughs were reached. The NOHBO team has successfully developed an eco-friendly solution to bottled shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and shaving creams with water soluble drops. This startup is the brainchild of Benjamin Stern, who came up with the idea for his company at age 14.
After realizing the overwhelming challenges in bringing a novel product to market, and problems with manufacturers not catering to smaller entrepreneurs, they branched out and formed NOHBO LABS, a contract manufacturing facility, aimed at helping other entrepreneurs build out their dreams by bringing disruptive beauty and personal care ideas to the marketplace.
Their products, the NOHBO Drops are comprised of two parts: an outer film utilizing a water-soluble technology, alongside a moisturizing base comprised of shampoo, conditioner, body wash OR shaving cream. Each Drop, when mixed with shower water for 2-4 seconds, will produce a personal care experience with no harsh chemicals, free of parabens and sulfates, and NO DAMAGE to the environment.
NOHBO LABS is a family-owned facility, handling formulation and production based on companies' requirements. NOHBO has been featured on ABC’s Shark Tank and in publications such as Forbes and Business Insider. NOHBO was awarded accolades by the former governor of Florida, Rick Scott, for encouraging entrepreneurship in Brevard County, Florida.
The startup has announced it has raised $3 million in a Series Seed funding round to scale up its manufacturing and produce 15 million units per month. The round was led by Material Impact, with participation from Safer Made and existing investor Mark Cuban’s Radical Investments.
Ben manages a team of beauty and personal care experts hungry and vision driven to eliminate plastics outright from an industry drowning in it. Ben has developed a vertically integrated supply chain and launched plus oversaw large scale partnerships with hotel distributors and global CPG conglomerates alike.