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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Roof Global is a mission-driven company that provides high-quality building materials made from post-consumer recycled plastic.
They have an international presence with local teams based in the Netherlands, USA and Ukraine. They have significant knowledge and expertise in the field of plastic recycling processes, building material properties, construction and architecture design. Their mission is to drastically reduce the amount of unutilized plastic waste by introducing innovative recycling solutions in the construction industry and beyond.
Their flagship product is PlastX, a replacement for wood that is made from 100% recycled plastic. They claim to be superior to natural wood, which costs less but needs continuous expensive maintenance such as protection against mold, UV and fire retardancy. Their recycled plastic decks are easy to use and do not need maintenance beyond cleaning with water and other agents. They claim that PlastX lasts for 25 years, compared with 5 years for wood.
Their range includes
PlastX Urban Sheet: High-performance product, resistant to moisture and water as well as to most substances and chemicals.
PlastX Outdoor Deck: Boards imitate wood both in terms of appearance and structure for a summer terrace at a countryside house or a rooftop lounge.
Neular Natural: Imitates natural wood coating and is suitable for decking, flooring and walls
PlastX Marble: Design interior material made of "marble" plastic which is locally collected
They also construct modular residential homes from recycled plastics. They have partnered with Amsterdam Impact, Construction for Change and many other organizations.