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 2017, ReVital Polymers creates high value re-manufactured plastic products for the commercial, industrial, agricultural and automotive industries. They focus on increasing the plastics value chain, diversion, energy reduction and sustaining our environment.
ReVital Polymers is Canadian owned and operated company led by a team of waste resource and recycling industry pioneers who have more than 65 years of experience in the industry. They process post consumer and post Industrial rigid plastic packaging (polyethylene and polypropylene), as well as Tubs and Lid bales for the manufacturing of new, sustainable products.
They sort with optical sorting technology – shred it-grind it-wash and dry it – formulate and extrude it, and then transform it into pellets.
The complexity of the process is in the recovery of discrete resin types and tailoring them to specific customer end use applications.
Emmie Leung has been a driving force for waste management and recycling across Canada and the state of Michigan for almost four decades. As the inspiring leader of a group of companies that now employ more than 1,000 people, Emmie has proven unstoppable in any economic climate and abundantly capable of developing and implementing creative and effective solutions to any waste management challenge.
Tony considers himself an environmentalist with a passion for recycling. He is a Founder and President of Merlin Plastics and over the past 25 years, this organization has planned, developed and refined the re-processing of plastic.
Keith J. Bechard
Chief Commercial Officer
Keith has an extensive history of technology commercialization, funding development and achieving public and private sector alignment to business interests. Before joining Revital Polymers, he was President at Entropex, a leading North American processor of post-consumer plastics; and Precision-Tech, a CNC machined component manufacturer.