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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Returnity creates reusable packaging for e-commerce by making custom designed, durable, reusable shipping bags and boxes using recycled and reusable fabrics.
Returnity reusable shipping bags and boxes are guaranteed for more than 40 shipments, saving companies' money, making customers happy, reducing paper consumption and carbon footprint, and lowering the pressure on landfills and recycling centers.
The company's innovative, reusable boxes and bags are revolutionizing the consumer unpacking experience – while providing the cost and sustainability solutions that brands are increasingly seeking.
The company's reusable boxes and bags aim to replace plastic poly bag mailers and corrugated cardboard boxes along with bubble wrap and insulation. Their boxes are rigid and custom-built to reduce the need for any additional content protection. The reusable packaging provides a unique experience for the consumer that emphasizes quality while aligning a company's brand with environmental sustainability that also saves them money.
Returnity's boxes and bags are custom-designed for each shipper.
Mike holds a Master's degree in Business Administration (MBA) from University of Michigan - Stephen M. Ross School. He has over 20 years of experience. He is also the founder of Walloon Woodworks and Stkr.It.
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