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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Recycle Coach was founded to make information about recycling more easily available to people through various means. Information is shared and gathered through networks and digital tools these days, and residents may not always use their communities’ website to find the information they need. This company, hence, seeks to provide information through social platforms so it reaches the young and old. It is based on the principle of networks like Spotify.
As Recycle Coach is shared, the network grows, and becomes more economical. Recycle Coach provides communities with tools, such as extensive search database, educational blogs, and a fun quiz to empower and educate residents towards being better recyclers. In turn it collects data on waste management, so that it can refine its solutions and provide the one best suited for a locality. These digital tools can be used by municipalities, universities, state governments, haulers or corporations to inform their citizens and people about notifications, collection dates, reminders, waste and recycling calendars etc. that be delivered directly to the them.
Recycle Coach is also an educational tool. It fills knowledge gaps in the community with local relevant information residents can actually use. Their products are available as 13 Apps and they share information through various ways like Facebook, Digital Assistants, Mobile Apps, Web Apps or through their website.
Recycle Coach was started in 2001 and is based in Toronto, Canada and its apps are already being used by the municipalities of many cities. From Tucson to Burnaby. From Winnipeg to Waterloo. Recycle Coach and their apps have been widely reported and covered by many eco-friendly portals.