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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Founded in San Francisco in 1999, Reflex® is manufacturing environmentally friendly packaging, specializing in 100% Recycled Content Packaging and Ocean Plastic Cushions.
Creating a market for the recyclable material serves to economically motivate areas of the globe that do not currently have sustainable recycling programs in place. The goal when Reflex started was to keep plastic from going into landfills.
Their impact has been greater than they imagined. The usage of recycled plastic grows each year. In 2017 alone they prevented over 11,000,000 pounds of plastic from entering landfills by re-purposing them into the cushions.
In addition to their signature product, Reflex® Cushions, the company can design and supply everything required for their clients packaging needs including pallets, foam, bags, corrugated, etc.
They are working with groups focused on keeping plastic waste from getting to the rivers, waterways and beaches that lead to the oceans.
Their packaging solutions are now designed and manufactured at sixteen global productions sites. They work with companies like HP, Arista, Juniper, Western Digital, and Ingram Micro.