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.
NuOceans works toward changing the environmental situation by inspiring and empowering every person to take action.
The fashion industry is the 2nd most polluting in the world. Every year hundreds of millions of pairs of flip-flops are produced and are one of the most significant contributors to ocean plastic pollution.
NuOceans has been working on a few projects to help remove the accumulated waste and raise awareness to break the cycle.
The first project is the manufacturing of flip-flops that are made of old flip-flops and plastic bottles recovered from the seas and beaches. These materials are repurposed to offer a quality and comfort comparable to that of the largest brands.
The straps of the flip-flops are cut and then the flip-flops are washed.
Next step involves shredding of the flip-flops piece by piece, and they are ready to start over.
They offer a recuperation scheme for used and unwanted flip-flops. In exchange, they offer exclusive discounts on their entire product range.
They are also developing a NuOceans book that offer a children’s book telling the tale of plastic in today’s societies, how it ends up harming our wildlife and how they, along with NuOceans, they can help break this cycle. All profits from book sales are reinvested in community projects and beach cleaning.
They work with the local communities to empower people and actively remove waste from the sea and beaches in regions that need it most. All recovered debris are broken down and reused as raw materials in the manufacture of their book and flip-flops.
Ever since Flavio was a small child, he nurtured a love and passion for the sea. He studied ecology and worked in research projects in many less developed countries. That is where he became most aware of the plight of our oceans.
He felt a strong attachment to the environment from the beginning itself. This interest developed during his studies, where he began to focus on and specialized in ecology. He became engrossed in the crisis our environment faces, and after working in research he decided to take action and tackle these global issues.
Hadrien holds a Master's degree in Business Engineering from Ichec Brussels Management School. He has previously worked as a Policy Officer Assistant with the European Commission.