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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Microchip expert STMicroelectronics has introduced their ST25 product family, a range of Integrated Circuits compliant with NFC and RFID tags and readers.
NFC and RFID tags are increasingly being used in products to improve traceability in the supply chain. The unique codes can also be used to formulate a digital signature, which preserves the authenticity and prevents counterfeiting and theft of a product through the entire supply chain. NFC tags can also be read by equipped smartphones, providing brands with the opportunity to directly engage with the consumer and drive revenue.
The ST25 range from STMicroelectronics consists of three main product families:
Tags (ST25T): For consumer engagement, asset tracking, gaming and more.
Dynamic Tags (ST25D): For industrial use, lighting, healthcare, appliances and more.
Readers (ST25R): For Automotives, access control, gaming and more.
Together, the ST25 range can be used for a number of essential applications like consumer engagement, home appliances, brand recognition, asset tracking, automotive, point of sales and other industrial uses.
The ST25 tags are certified by the NFC Forum and are suitable for use with Android and iOS platforms. All the tags are also appropriately certified through ISO standards.