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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Sampurnearth Environment Solutions Pvt. Ltd. was founded in the year 2012 by three social entrepreneurs from TISS with a vision to make a better world, where waste is totally transformed into utilizable resources without exploitation of people or planet. It is supported by DBS-TISS Social Entrepreneurship Programme and Unltd India. Sampurnearth Environment Solutions Pvt. Ltd. is one of the largest environmental solutions providers in India, serving more than 40,000 municipal, commercial and industrial customers in India.
Sampurnearth has invested in developing waste management solutions for a changing world. Today, this includes not just disposal and recycling, but personal counselling to help customers achieve their green goals, including zero waste. With a healthy network of recycling facilities, collection centres and waste pickers, their entire business can adapt to meet the needs of every distinct customer segment right from an individual household to a municipality.
Some of Sampurnearth's services include consulting, Operations & Maintenance contracts, reactivation of defunct plants, educational visits as well as awareness campaigns. The company also provides products ranging from wet & dry waste management as well as e-waste management.
Sampurnearth is based in Mumbai but has its operations across the country in over 20 cities. Based on the city, their models vary from working directly with ragpickers or dry waste collectors or aggregators and their source ranging from households to landfills. They collect a diverse variety of plastic packaging including MLP packaging waste. Currently they collect 3000 tons of MLP packaging waste every month across all its locations.
Sampurnearth is an EPR partner for many corporates. Under EPR, all the MLP packaging waste they collect is sent to cement kilns or waste to energy plants.
Sampurnearth has received many awards and recognition for their solutions including: