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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Re:newcell recycles old clothes and garments making fashion sustainable.
If the world’s population increases as expected, there will be 8.5 billion people by 2030. As the population grows, apparel consumption grows with it. Producing even more apparel will have significant impact on water use, CO2 emissions, use of chemicals and waste disposal.
Re:newcell recycling technology transforms high cellulosic waste (from cotton and viscose) into pure, natural dissolving pulp, re:newcell pulp. The fibers made from re:newcell pulp have a lot in common with cotton fibers. They are organic, sustainable and allow for a better use of the planet’s resources.
If one kilo of clothing is recycled instead of being produced from virgin sources, it saves thousands of liters of water and decreases emissions of both CO2 and chemicals. Re:newcell's process involves lesser water and chemicals, emits less CO2 and prolongs the use of resources.
Steps followed by re:newcell's process are:
Collect or receive garments with high cellulosic content (cotton and viscose).
The textiles are shredded, de-buttoned, de-zipped, de-colored and turned into a slurry.
Contaminants and other non-cellulosic content are separated from the slurry.
The slurry is dried to produce a pure, natural re:newcell pulp, which is packaged into bales and fed into the textile production cycle.
Their fibres have a higher quality in the following areas:
Withstands high abrasion
Using this process, re:newcell's plant produces 7,000 tons of biodegradable re:newcell pulp per year. It's an efficient process and it's up and running in their first plant in Kristinehamn, located in Sweden.