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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ReDeTec a Canadian company has created patented technology to recycle plastic waste, and its first application is the Proto Cycler.
ReDeTec that was founded in 2013, makes and sells a small, compact desk-top machine that recycles waste produced by a 3D printer plastic into valuable 3D printer filament. This eliminates waste of plastic printing material and brings down the cost of 3D printing substantially.
These days 3D printing is being widely used as standard technology. However, it is associated with a high volume of plastic waste that can make 3D printing expensive. The Proto Cycler that costsonly 1699 USD can be an excellent solution to this problem. It can be ordered in Canada, China, and USA and used with any 3D printer. It works with different kinds of plastic resins such as PLA and ABS, HIPS, Nylon, and PETG. It has a built-in grinder, MixFlow™ extruder, distributed spooling, and intelligent computer control.
All the plastic that is wasted during the 3D printing process is converted back into new filaments. It is possible to mix and produce designer colors by using different colored plastic pellets that they also supply. New filament types can be created by blending plastics and plastic modifiers. While there are many other filament extruders on the market, this is the only one that can recycle its own waste, resulting in an 80 % reduction in filament costs. Both new and recycled plastic can be used in this system for 3D printing. Moreover, ProtoCycler produces 3D printer filament 400% more efficiently. The machines have automatic spooling and can be controlled by powerful software that can be operated by any computer.
This technology is certified to meet international standards. The system is completely automated and is simple enough to be used in offices and even schools. However, due to high demand in the market, their current lead time is 4 months.