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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Plastixis a leading Danish clean tech company which transforms waste fishing nets and waste rigid plastics into high quality plastic raw materials. Plastix has developed a proprietary technology and process system to handle very tough waste fractions such as trawls and nets. The fishing waste they collect provides raw material for producing secondary plastic material that they sell.
The high quality plastic collected and recycled from oceans is called OceanIXand the one recycled from land waste is called NordIX. Both these plastics can be used by itself or in a blend for producing new items. Regular users of their material can get a certificate as “Certified Recyclates User of Discarded Fishing Net and Trawl” to show as CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) achievements. They remind their clients that using their green material saves precious fossil fuels, reduces plastic pollution on land and oceans, and reduces CO2 emissions.
Plastix has been co-funded by the European Union within the CIP Eco-Innovation initiative of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) through the Retrawl project. Plastix is located in Lemvig, Denmark and operates in Scandinavia, the Baltic Region, most of Europe and South Africa.
Their technology transforms an extensive disposal/deposit problem – discarded fishing nets and other post-use plastic waste fractions – into valuable recycled HDPE and PP plastics raw materials.
Awareness of environmental impacts, geopolitics and a focus on increasing efficiency in the collecting of waste streams has created incentives for the fishing industry to stop dumping used fishing gear into the ocean, thus moving the issue to on-shore handling of nets and other types of gear.
Their creativity for solutions derives from the imagination, designs, innovations, strategies and collective implementation methodologies that meet the diverse needs of their clients and partners. Through the use of technology, they provide treatment methods that have shown the ability to effectively recycle plastics and metals from net and trawl without downgrading the quality and thereby lose valuable resources. With their recycling technology the used maritime materials can be recycled 100% in a closed loop.
Hans has been CEO of Plastic for the last 5 years. He was the owner of two previous firms Vvork Invest APS (5 years) and Fridbjorg APS (6 yeras). Previously he was Managing Director at Hudson Global Resources ( 1 year) and International HR Director at Carlsberg (3 years).