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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Plastic Bottle Village was built from a million post-consumer plastic bottles to tackle the growing problem of marine plastic pollution. Among the houses built is the only castle in the world to be made of plastic bottles, situated in 83 acres of established jungle on the island of Bocas Del Toro.
The Plastic Bottle Village is an eco-residential community designed to co-exist with nature, and the lush tropical jungle. The community is located on some of Isla Colon’s most prime real estate off the coast of Panama. Residents of this exclusive community will be ensured positive R.O.I on their home / land purchase, while doing their part to change the world in a positive direction.
Plastic Bottle village have developed a method of making modular panels from plastic bottles that can be used to build walls. Steel bars are welded to make mesh cages, which are then packed with plastic bottles and covered with a thin layer of cement. The bottles act as insulators keeping internal house temperature 17 degrees Celsius cooler than outside, making them comfortable in the tropical weather.
The group have been getting many requests from different parts of the world such as Africa or Haiti to send technical teams who can teach to use the PET bottles in the construction of shelters and homes. International trips are expensive. So the Plastic Bottle Village is trying to raise funds to be able to send their teams. They are asking for small contributions by offering visits, products and vacations. So for example, a visit costs $5, while a vacation costs $99. By getting involved, people can lessen their carbon footprint, teach people about recycling, put a roof over a family in need.
The Plastic bottle Village is at the island of Bocas Del Toro in Panama. Since 2016, 450 articles in different languages have been published on them. They have had people from 202 countries visiting their website.
Originally from Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Robert came to Bocas several years ago and has had his hand in many projects throughout this time. Robert spearheaded the Bocas recycling program in 2012, where he and some volunteers, and a few part time workers, made a positive change in the cleanliness of the islands beaches and town.