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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StixFresh is an all-natural way to safely and easily extend the shelf life of fruit by up to 14 days.
In the U.S. alone, from farm to fridge, 52% of fresh fruits and vegetables go to waste. That’s an annual loss in the tens of billions of dollars.
The stickers can be easily peeled and place on apples, pears, avocados, dragon fruits, kiwis, mangoes, oranges and other citrus fruits to help keep them firm, sweet and juicy. The company is working on growing the list. They’re also trying to branch out into more vegetables and berries.
Through countless comparative tests, StixFresh has proven to deliver promising results.
The stickers keep the fruit fresh longer without chemicals as the materials used are 100% natural. The sticker’s coating contains compounds that plants naturally make to protect themselves from predators. When these compounds vaporize, they travel far enough to “cloak” the fruit in a protective compound, inhibiting bacterial growth to prevent premature spoilage and over-ripening.
StixFresh has a patent pending for the technology. The stickers are Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the US FDA, so they can be used in food contact applications. They are made of paper, so they are better for the environment than plastic stickers.
The company is aiming to apply their formulation to other branded stickers. They also plan to sell their stickers to consumers that could apply them on the fruits and vegetable they buy to extend their shelf life.
They have recently launched a succesful IndieGoGo campaign. The company is doing its R&D in Belgium.
Driven to discover, Zhafri is a creative and resourceful inventor who’s always looking to make a positive impact in his community and around the world. With a rich background in technological innovation, he’s an expert at delivering simple solutions to complex problems. As he sees nature’s gifts as the future of technology, Zhafri actively focuses on sustainable, eco-responsible ideas.
CEO & Co-founder at Stixfresh USA, Inc.
Moody has an extensive experience in the medical device and biotech industries, He has a passion for delivering products that ultimately improve people’s health, safety and quality of life. Notable projects have included launch of a Class III medical device, shutdown and transfer of a $150M company, and commercialization of a disruptive cutting-edge biotech technology.
A veteran in the high-tech engineering and manufacturing industry, Steve knows the ins and outs of successfully leading diverse teams of senior engineers, research scientists, business administrators, and corporate executives. Steve implements a system-based approach with his teams to plan, execute, and monitor progress toward an end goal.
Patrick Van Dijck
Patrick is an expert in molecular microbiology and has received international recognition for his research on signal transduction pathways and fungal biofilms, as well as for his development of unique novel tools. For StixFresh, he has created a robust testing platform to gauge our formulation’s effectiveness and will lead all current and future R&D efforts.