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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SCS (Scientific Certification System) Global Services, is a trusted leader in third-party environmental, sustainability and food quality certification, auditing, testing and standards development.
The company is the certifier of choice for recycled content claims around the world, and for companies seeking certification of their in-house recycling programs. They are recognized for the rigor of their standards and the professionalism of their staff.
SCS Global Services provides two types of certification to recognize your achievements:
Recycled Content Certification - The SCS Recycled Content Certification evaluates products made from pre-consumer or post-consumer material diverted from the waste stream. Certification measures the percentage of recycled content for the purpose of making an accurate claim in the marketplace.
Recycling Program Certification - The SCS Recycling Program Certification helps recyclers and reclamation facilities make credible claims about their diversion strategies and recycling rates.
The process before delivering the certification is the following:
Data Collection and Analysis: the auditor helps its clients to assemble its data and documentation. The auditor reviews the manufacturing data, processes, and chain of custody procedures to determine if conformance is achieved as well as the nature of the claim.
Report Draft Assessment Report: the auditor writes a draft assessment report that details the findings of the audit, including data analysis, non-conformities, and opportunities for improvement. The client is then required to respond to any non-conformities with a root cause analysis and corrective action.
They partner with companies, government agencies, and stakeholders worldwide to identify and drive practices, policies and processes that advance the goals of sustainable development and give innovators a competitive advantage.
Timothy has completed Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Purdue. He has worked across multiple companies such as Marking Services, MB Division, Indiana Department of Transportation.
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