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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ReCircle Recycling was founded to transform how society reuses its materials.
Recyclable materials are very valuable in their pure state but the cost and difficulty of separating mixed recycling make it uneconomical. With mounting public and government pressure, something needs to change to stem the tide of used packaging and products ending up in a landfill. In their pure form, recyclables are very valuable but are costly to separate when mixed.
ReCircle Recyclinghas designed and patented a closed-loop recycling appliance to solve this problem. It is designed to be installed into your home, office or anywhere else used-materials exist such as universities, music festivals, hospitals or football stadiums.
The device uses a network of sensors to direct deposited items into the correct container, based on whether it is PET plastic, HDPE plastic, glass or aluminium. Items other than these categories will not be accepted and will be given back to the user. Following the deposit, the appliance will sort, wash, and grind, recycling into high-quality, mono-material products before selling it to manufacturers. The containers are emptied and the owner is reimbursed for the weight of materials gathered.
By guaranteeing 100% purity of recyclable materials, ReCircle can:
Remove the need for the current expensive and inefficient collection of co-mingled recyclables and the ensuing problematic sorting & separation processes.
Guarantee 100% closed-loop recycling of glass, aluminium and plastics (PET & HDPE) processed by the ReCircle appliance.
Retain the value of used recyclable container materials, so they can be sold at a premium and successfully closed-loop re-manufactured after their useful life.
Not only is the appliance hygienic and odourless, it can also store 10 times the material your normal recycling bin can. A clean and easily loaded appliance that rewards your recycling efforts by tracking your carbon reductions, and guaranteeing that 100% of your recycling is closed-loop recycled.
ReCircle is currently crowdfunding £500,000 to build a prototype of the appliance and to then roll out a network of the devices across California. The company hopes to raise this sum by mid-May 2019.
Aldous has over 30 years business experience as a technology and software developer, project manager and mechanical engineer, including developing water and material recycling technology. He developed SOHO custom PC database software and prior to that worked with Mannesmann Demag AG a multi-national German mechanical heavy engineering company.