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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Through a software-backed deposit system, Revolv operates a network of reusable cups, bottles & food boxes at restaurants, events, and office buildings in Bali, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
A deposit system with a reliable user interface enables Revolv to operate on top of existing delivery and cleaning infrastructure, resulting in a seamless alternative to single-use to-go containers across the food and beverage (F&B) industry.
By designing and operating a fully closed-loop system, Revolv does not ask its users to change their consumption behavior. Instead, they provide convenient alternatives along the way which allows for the recirculation of foodware products:
Users elect a Revolv container at check-out (made from borosilicate, stainless steel or rice husks) and are charged a small deposit with their purchase.
Once they are done, users return their container to any Revolv drop-off station, where their deposit is automatically credited to their account.
From there, products are washed, sanitized, and sold back into circulation at partner restaurants.
Containers are tracked using radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, the same way bike share companies track their bicycles. Drop-off points include all participating retail/restaurant shops as well as Revolv’s independently-run return stations. For their event space service offering (music festivals, sports games) users pay the same deposit and are expected to use their cup over the course of the event.
Revolv is aiming to expand their service in very specific districts (areas with a high-density of restaurants and cafés), including schools & universities, shopping malls, corporate offices and food courts.
The company was launched in Hong-Kong and Bali in 2018 with the funding support of $500,000 from a Hong-Kong based hedge fund Sylebra Capital. They are currently accepting additional funding to support their rapid expansion in Singapore.
Revolv. has ambitious plans to partner with food delivery companies, which represent a rapidly growing, waste-intensive sector of Singapore’s F&B industry.
The startup had been selected by the NextGenCup Challenge team among 12 other solutions for its reusable cup service model.
Prior to founding Revolv, Brian spent 15 years pioneering renewable energy development across the world. He has experienced first hand the collective capability of global movements and approaches his time on the planet with determination, intention, and conviction.
Focusing primarily on financial partnerships, Forrest also leads the design & implementation of Revolv’s US initiatives. Forrest comes from a background of energy project development and finance that includes countless negotiations with Fortune 500 companies. He has
always maintained that profitable solutions are what stimulate momentum towards more sustainable economies.