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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Parkside is a specialist packaging solutions provider that has a range of sustainable packaging options to offer amidst the usual designs.
They work across Europe and Asia and provide packaging solutions to businesses and customers in a way that is less damaging to the environment through their compostable range.
Paper and film barrier duplex and triplexlaminationcan all now be compostable via their Park-2-Nature range. They offer the same high quality and impressive packaging that normal materials provide and exceed it through these compostable materials (all are compliant with EN13432 and Vincotte OK Compost Standards).
The shelf life can be enhanced due to the type of materials that are used, making it better for longevity of products and the carbon footprint is reduced from their lightweight design. Once used, the products can then be composted through an industrial composter and complete the life cycle without creating unwanted waste.
Their sustainable packaging has been short-listed for several awards and received notable press attention. As a company, they have worked alongside many brands to help them with their packaging needs and have good working guidelines for sustainable and ethical business practices.
Nick joined Parkside in 2014 and serves on the Board of both the UK and Asia businesses. He was brought in to lead the experienced management team to deliver an innovation-led growth strategy. The ‘Advanced Packaging Expertise’ (APEX) strategy has redefined the company’s approach to clients, is intended to ‘excite and inspire brands and retailers’ and establishes Parkside as a true technology integrator.