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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Recicletool is a Brazilian startup focused on providing solutions for reverse logistics and solid waste management by manufacturing packaging collection and identification equipment that encourage people to recycle with incentives.
Harmful chemicals and greenhouse gasses emanate from landfill sites. Globally, landfills have been saturating, by 2010, all being burdened with waste in the UK. It hikes up financial expenditure. Manufacturing products from raw materials cost much more than their recycled polymer counterparts. This led Recicletool to start their venture.
The company is located in Pernambuco, Brazil. They offer a solid waste collection machine installed in supermarkets and public places. Recicletool uses optical scanning technology. It collects recyclable objects from interested people, identifies the product collected and credits the person in proportion to the volume of material deposited in the machine - which allows them to monetize their recycling actions. The user registers using their mobile number, in the machine itself, which will be available as a point of service device.
After pre-registration, the person can instantly begin to recycle. Waste deposited in the machine is identified and displayed on the touchscreen, informing how much the customer is winning for each residue deposited. When one finishes recycling, the customer completes an action on the screen and will see their total gain coming through recycling.
Recicletool generates money through recycling and contributes to a balanced environment. The machine induces the practice of good environmental behaviour, rewarding the recyclers. It also accounts for how much change they unknowingly discard every day.