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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POLYMETRIX is a company that specializes in the thermal treatment of bulk material. Using its technology and processes, it produces polymers for technical applications and the food packaging industries, ensuring quality, safety, and dependability.
The company believes in constant innovation and the innovation projects focus on technical process solutions considering energy efficiency and compatibility with the environment. It focuses on the treatment processes for virgin and recycled polyesters, polyamides, and other polymers.
POLYMETRIX 's process technologies are well known proven in the plastic industry. It uses a process step involving the thermal treatment of solid-state polymers enabling the downstream manufacture of high-quality products. The process-technology used are; Solid State Polycondensation - SSP, Solid-state drying & Conditioning, Solid-state Decontamination, Pneumatic Pellet and flake conveying, Proprietary Unit Operations, Extrusion and Melt Degassing, Washing and Sorting.
The company has developed a recycling technology that converts post-consumer PET bottles into recycled PET (rPET) that is suitable for food packaging. The rPET pellets are compatible with Virgin PET (vPET) and are used with up to 100 percent rPET content for beverage bottles and food trays.
The blend of Virgin PET (vPET) and rPET is produced using the EcoBlendTM rPET technology.
rPET bottle-to-bottle technology is used to transform the washed PET flakes into pure rPET pellets. This technology is used when the processing of rPET takes place independently of a virgin PET fabrication factory. In the PET wash plant, the collected post-consumer PET bottles undergo grinding, intense surface cleaning, and sorting. The resulting PET flakes are the input material for the bottle-to-bottle rPET process in POLYMETRIX.
The process consists of an initial extrusion step with melt degassing and melt filtration and is followed by pelletizing and decontaminating stage under nitrogen an SSP.
The rPET flake technology is used to manufacture pure rPET flakes from washed PET flakes. The technology is chosen for rPET that undergoes melt filtration in subsequent processes of conversion, mainly to produce rPET films.
The films are made up of up to 100% rPET content and are used in the production of thermoformed PET trays and other blisters for packaging.
The rPET is treated in POLYMETRIX SSP and fulfills the basic specifications of the packaging industry, the national safety regulations for food packaging, and even the strict requirements of global beverage brand owners. The key advantages of rPET are its precise and stable viscosity, extremely low levels of residual contaminants, and optimum processing characteristics for injection molding of preforms.
In recent years the energy consumption per ton for producing PET bottle grade pallets has been reduced by 40 percent. Simultaneously, the use of recycling technology has helped to reduce the global demand for new material by 3 percent.
The company also produces vPET for food packaging and technical applications and rPET for technical applications. This solution can benefit recycling, packaging, food, and other industries that use PET as raw material.