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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OZZI was started in 2015 in Kingstown, USA, with the aim of tackling the large amounts of waste created by single-use, disposable containers and carriers used by the take-out food service industry, mainly on college campuses, in hospitals, offices, etc.
The organization aims to make a difference anywhere that food is parceled "to-go" in paper, plastic and foam containers. OZZI hopes to switch the industry over to ecologically minded, reusable containers.
The OZZI model makes use of 30% recycled, BPA Free, NSF Certified, microwavable, 100% recyclable O2GO containers, along with utensils, bottles, etc, guaranteed for 300+ uses.
The model uses the OZZI machine which allows for simple deposit of the containers after use, making use of a token system in order to keep track of containers:
Customers receive a token which is used to collect a clean O2GO container from food service.
After enjoying his/her meal, the customer deposits the used container in the OZZI machine and in return receives a token from the machine which can be used to repeat the process.
Dining service collects the used containers from the machine, cleans them and returns them to the service line.
The OZZI model is monitored remotely, allowing the ability to diagnose and assess its performance throughout its use and take corrective action without on-site service. With an active subscription and live Ethernet, any issues with the machine are made known to OZZI, who are able to remotely debug the system and set up each machine to its individual environment. With the active subscription, OZZI is able to send messages to concerned members to let them know the machine is full, out of tokens, or has any operational issues.
OZZI services a number of universities, including McGill, Pepperdine, UC Merced, Washington State and many more, as well as businesses such as Exxon Mobil and Morgan Stanley.