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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RECUP offers an innovative and sustainable reusable system for coffee-to-go cups in more than 20 cities in Germany.
Each year in Germany alone about 2.8 billion disposable cups are used for coffee-to-go and thrown away after a single use. The deposit system for coffee-to-go cups avoids disposable waste and saves resources.
RECUP system is simple and allow the customer to rent a cup for a deposit instead of disposable cups and return it to any participating shop in the same city or a different city. RECUP has over 2000 partners and some of them include larger companies such as VW Wolfsburg, Dat Backhus, Alnatura. The network is now expanding in the UK.
By participating in the RECUP system, the partners benefit from a convenient and holistic service.
The company operates an app on which all the partners are located for easier access.
The RECUPs are:
available in three sizes for your coffee with a filling line: 0.2l; 0.3l; 0,4l
Shatterproof and super light
contains No BPA, no pollutants
100% recyclable plastic
dishwasher safe, at least 500 rinses
have a lid for all cups
savings potential through lower expenditures for disposable cups
providing each partners with a sustainable brand image
RECUP’s reusable cups are made of PP (polypropylene) but they are looking for alternative materials, such as bioplastics, which have similar properties.
The company received several awards, including: Startup of the Year 2018 at the Founder Award, Making a Difference Award by the Jane Godall Institute Germany, Award for best practice example of the Deutsche Umwelthilfe, Audience Award of the Next Organic Startup Award 2017, Gründerpreis Rosenheim 2017.
RECUP has been selected by the NextGenCup Challenge team among 12 ideas that are pushing the boundaries of material, chemical innovation and sustainable design as they reinvent the fiber cup system.