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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SolZero offers large scale industrial solutions to reuse packaging with the ambition to reduce single-use plastic while minimizing its carbon footprint.
The startup develops and manages the logistic and industrial tools that allow the reuse of packaging (with a pay for usage system instead of purchasing a single use packaging) in several activity sectors such as institutional catering in schools and hospitals, food retailers, food and beverages brands or zero waste territoires.
SolZero was founded by Emmanuel Auberger, former CEO in the glass packaging industry, expert in packaging and food processing and highly engaged in waste reduction associations. Through his contacts, he has federated a strong team around the project.
The startup started to develop in France with several customers. They are currently piloting a project with Franprix retailer in France who is testing reusable glass containers for its customers to use when buying take away food. No deposit are required.
They are looking for co-developing customers within Western Europe (for now) and opened to partner with associations working in the reduction / reuse of packaging and in the protection of the environment.
With 20 years of experience in packaging, Emmanuel use his expertise to develop innovative industrial solutions to reuse packaging. Reuse is the best option to solve the multiple issues of single-use plastics. Solution needs to be industrial, large scale to maintain cost competitiveness. Emmanuel is an experienced CEO in the packaging industry, food and beverage, HEC, multi-lingual and has experiences in France, USA, Spain and Italy.