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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Robinetto is serving up sustainability from the tap by reducing packaging waste and carbon dioxide emissions associated with transporting bottled beverages.
The Belgian beverage industry brings 5 billion packages to the market every year. All these packaged beverages must be transported, resulting in several millions of freight miles per year. You don’t have to be a scientist to understand that this transport and the accompanying mountain of waste account for an enormous amount of CO2 emissions. Luckily an alternative exists that is much more sustainable, easier ànd cheaper: the water that simply comes from the tap. Robinetto offers solutions to drink in a more sustainable, less complex and cheaper way.
Robinetto offers taps for flat or sparkling water and sodas. They draw the water into the container that will be used on site, whether that be for a glass at a pub, a cup at a festival, or a bottle of water at a restaurant. Soft drinks can be "assembled" on site by mixing water and concentrate, eliminating the transport of 80% of the volume of soft drinks that consists of water.
Working with local producers as much as possible, local syrups are sourced for sodas and local beers are utilized. For events, disposable packaging is avoided by using reusable cups. Taps can be rented or sold, depending on the need of the customer, making this a helpful solution for the catering and events industry.
Robinetto wants to reach its goal of 1 billion fewer water bottles in Belgium, and every tap water dispenser that they sell or rent has a smart meter to measure their progress toward this goal.