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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RiceHouse is a company that produces natural construction material like thermal insulating plasters, lightweight screeds, and prefabricated panels using organic residues, such as straw, husk, and chaff from the rice industry and cultivation with a high level of sustainability.
The company believes that the key feature of a circular economy is turning organic waste into a source of value. RiceHouse introduces the natural construction materials into the construction cycle so that at the end of their service life, the products return to the natural cycle. The company's products are based on technological and ethical values, which turn the house into a life-living organism.
RiceHouse natural mortar, rice husk-lime biocomposites are obtained by expertly mixing aerial lime with rice husks. It is linked to high thermal insulation, excellent acoustic performance of the mixture, high breathability of the combined material, and excellent capacity in the regulation of humidity. In construction and reconstruction, it has a high degree of versatility, adjusting to each style of masonry. The product is healthy, durable, renewable, environmentally friendly, and it can reduce a remarkable amount of CO2 from the environment throughout the entire life cycle.
The Rice Husk and Lime products include:
RH 100 (BIO-BASED RENDER), providing thermal and acoustic insulation with hydrothermal properties. It reduces indoor pollution by absorbing internal CO2.
RH 200 (DRY BIO FINISCH), a line of high-quality finishes that is durable with UV rays, resistant to bad weather, and high evaporation capacity of the humidity present in the wall.
RH 300 (ENLIGHTENED SCREED): It is applied in a thickness of 5 to 25cm. It is light, flexible, breathable, designed for new buildings but is also suitable for thermal and hygrometric rehabilitation of existing buildings. It guarantees excellent acoustic insulation performance and is therefore ideal even in all environments that need to be insulated.
With a partnership with Novallocase, RiceHouse has created a brand RISORSA to promote houses built with rice strawbales, following a bio-architecture approach. RISORCA is first in Italy to industrialize the manufacturing process of pre-compressed wood and straw frames to create prefabricated straw houses with very high energy efficiency.
The reuse of these residues can contribute towards rural development and can benefit farmers, construction, and architectural industry.