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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Solutum is a young innovative Cleantech Start-Up developing biodegradable products that are environmentally friendly and can replace plastic.
Each year around 350M ton of plastics are being produced around the world. About half of it is single-use products - resulting in mass pollution of the land and sea. The plastic that reaches the sea kills more than 1 million marine animals a year. This plastic also comes back to us in the food and water, causing major health problems.
Completely dissolving in water to natural components, Solutum product is a sustainable and cost-efficient solution to the plastic pollution. Looking to solve a problem that’s being piling up for decades, the team of chemical engineers have developed a unique compound that replaces plastic with a strong and eco-friendly solution.
The unique manufacturing process allows for usage of regular plastic machinery to create our products - reducing costs and meeting manufacturers' requirements.
Their product feels and looks like plastic, but is made of a 100% environmentally friendly material which requires only water to biodegrade.
No elaborate process or the use of chemicals is needed - once the product is not needed anymore, it can be thrown down the drain.