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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Scandinavian Enviro Systems has a patented technology for recovering carbon black, oil, steel and gas from waste tyres. Their focus is on carbon black; in some cases replacing virgin oil-based carbon black up to 100% in rubber components.
Every year, an estimated 14 million tons of used tires is discarded worldwide, leading to a significant negative environmental impact. Scandinavian Enviro Systems has the technology to extract value out of the waste tires by applying principles of circular economy.
They claim that the environmental impact of their process is also significantly lower, partly because they are using energy from the tires to power the process. Their business model is based on the construction and sale of recycling plants for used tires.
The technology is based on patented pyrolysis technology that was invented by Bengt-Sture Ershag in 1994. The patent, formally titled “Method for recovery of carbon and combinations of hydrocarbons from polymers, preferably in the form of disposed tyres, by pyrolysis in a pyrolysis reactor”, is called CFC (Carbonized by Forced Convection). CFC technology has been patented in a total of 19 countries.
The Companys’ achievements are acknowledged by the international and national stakeholders. Enviro won the prestigious award Waste Management of The Year on the Swedish Recycling Awards 2016. “A technology and solution that is spreading across the world and puts focus on Swedish cleantech once again” was part of the jury’s motivation.