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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Rubicon Global is a technology company that provides waste, recycling, and smart city solutions to businesses and governments worldwide. They deploy a full suite of cloud-based solutions to help their customers and network of independent waste haulers work towards more sustainable waste and recycling practices, uncover cost savings, and improve operations through data analytics.
They provide customized services to leaders in many industries including retail, health care, education, private equity, distribution, property management, construction, food service and hospitality in over 1,000,000 service locations worldwide. Their proprietary cloud-based platform connects customers with local small haulers who take the waste to recyclers. This way unnecessary transport costs are cut. Recyclers pay for the raw materials, instead of landfilling companies that charge for their service - unlocking environmental benefits, and saving costs for clients. They work with 5,000 independent haulers. The waste they handle is include cardboard, plastic, paper, metal, glass, electronics recycling, construction and demolition, organics recycling, wood waste, and single stream recycling solutions. In addition to developing and deploying its scalable technology platform, Rubicon has built an experienced management and advisory team to prepare the company for exponential growth.
Rubicon Global is a certified B Corporation whose mission it is to end waste. Rubicon Global is laser focused on ending waste in all of its forms. This starts with the physical waste that businesses, governments and organizations produce in their daily operations; but it goes a step further to include wasted time, wasted money, and wasted energy. It starts with keeping materials out of landfills and creating a more circular economy through recycling and reuse; but it expands to include creating a more efficient and effective society.
Nate Morris and Marc Spiegel founded Rubicon Global in 2008. The company is located in Greater Atlanta Area, United States of America. They have received many awards since its foundation. These awards are not just for the service they provide but also for being a great work place and providing good benefits to their employers, from Great Place to Work and Glassdoor. Environmental awards come from Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Environmental Leader. For business, from Atlanta Business Chronicle and Forbes.
Nate is the company’s co-founder and CEO. He has been named to Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40, and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He holds a Bachelor's degree Political Science at the George Washington University
Marc is Co-Founder of Rubicon Global. In addition, he is also Founder of Mimmer and Buckhead Venures. Marc holds a Masters, Public Administration and a BS Sports Administration / Finance at the University of Louisville.
David leads Rubicon Global's sustainability efforts, focused on eradicating landfills through technology and innovative closed-loop solutions. Prior to joining Rubicon Global, he was management consultant at PwC. David holds an MBA at Emory University and a BA Political Sciences at the George Washington University.