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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All the products made by Pentatonic are 100% from post-consumer waste, 100% recyclable and 100% non-toxic. Each product they make is made from one single form of material. This way, they avoid using toxins such as glues, resins, paints or formaldehyde in binding different materials together. Moreover, this makes it possible to recycle the material indefinitely.
They use waste, and then ensure their product fits the circular economy completely. They buy back the used products from their customers at the end of its life, so that they can recycle the material. They also have a unique transparent supply chain wherein their traceability app shows where the materials were sourced from and where the products were made.
Since furniture is their main business, they have concentrated on it, by developing The Airtool System. All the furniture have a revolutionary gear system, where height and angle can be adjusted and parts can be changed easily in case of damage. They produce chairs and tables from used plastic bottles, glassware from old screens and luxurious fabrics for making accessories like cushion cover, carpets and components.
The Problem: Last year, more than 480 billion plastic bottles were bought around the world – equivalent to 20,000 per second, or 1.2 million every minute. The numbers are equally mind-bending for aluminum cans and glass bottles, but despite all efforts to date, the majority of these objects end up outside the recycling system, in the ground, in our oceans, washed up on distant island beaches, forming waterborne masses so vast that they almost constitute islands in themselves. This casual, excessive consumption has the potential to destroy us, but there is a better way forward. We have the means of saving the planet while not just preserving, but improving the quality of our lives.
The Solution: Their engineers and designers have over 15 years’ experience in creating revolutionary material solutions; planet-saving, design-led alternatives to virgin materials. Man has already produced enough plastic and glass to fulfill our needs forever – it’s all out there, it’s just a case of reincarnating rather than burying it. And with enough creativity, each incarnation can be better than the last – with less impact. Waste doesn't end up in the earth, the environment isn't destroyed from resource extraction and recycled products have a lower carbon footprint than those from virgin materials. From strong but elegant furniture frames, to soft, tactile luxury fabrics, Pantatonic uses the contents of your bin to create exceptional, future-proof products for your home or office. Pantatonic's slogan is Waste not. Want. Pentatonic.
Pentatonic was started by Johann Bödecker, Founder and CEO with Jamie Hall, with investment from Miniwiz in 2016. It is based in London, UK, but their products can be ordered at the website, and they are delivered in Europe and other parts of the world. The company’s homewares have been reported in Telegraph, WIRED, Mashable, and Highnobiety.
Johann co-founded Pentatonic in 2016 and has been its CEO ever since. Johann spent over seven years working for Miniwiz Co. Taipei, the pioneering execution-oriented closed-loop firm behind projects such as EcoArk, before starting his own venture.