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 Energy Limited is the world’s leading pioneer in the chemical recycling of end-of-life plastic waste into synthetic hydrocarbon fuels, oils and into new plastics.Its technology headquarters is in the Innovation Center in London-UK, and the industrial plants in Almeria and Seville-Spain.
The newly formed company has a viable and proven solution to the global problem of plastic waste pollution by transforming waste destined for landfills – globally, more than $300 billion worth a year – or the ocean, estimated to be eight million tonnes a year, into hydrocarbon fuels and oils and back to plastic through chemical recycling. The industrial plants can produce up to 19,000 liters of hydrocarbon fuel from 20 tonnes of plastic feed stock. Real end of life plastics (ELP) from domestic wastes are recycled rather than treating “industrial ELP”, which is single stream and clean.
Unlike many competitors, who are either in the laboratory, at pilot plant stage or processing limited quantities of narrowly selected clean post-industrial plastics, Plastic Energy’s UK based team of technology specialists have 10 years’ experience developing the unique, patented thermal anaerobic technology (TAC) chemical recycling process. TAC does not use catalysts which are often expensive, easily poisoned and hazardous to dispose. Instead, Plastic Energy’s TAC Plants are uniquely controlled using non-contaminated thermal degradation, agitation and carbon chain length selectivity to produce a variety of outputs. Plastic Energy’s mission is to be the world leading, sustainable and profitable producer of synthetic second generation fuels and feed stocks for new plastics from end-of-life plastic. The company has plans to expand further in Europe as well as South America and the Caribbean.
Carlos studied a six years Engineering program at the University Polytechnic of Madrid, holds a management degree with IESE, the Business School at the University of Navarra (Madrid Campus) and studied waste management in 2014.
Chief Technology Officer
A graduate with Joint Honours Degree in Chemistry and Polymer Chemistry with Technology. 22 years working in a broad variety of roles in the telecommunications, recycling and 'green' energy Companies.