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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The inspiration for Sulapac’s innovation lies in the Finnish forest. Founders Suvi Haimi and Laura Kyllönen wanted to develop a beautiful and ecological packaging material that would help to reduce the plastic waste.
Plastic is the dominating packaging material in the world and the plastic consumption is growing all the time. Regardless of the improved recycling schemes and energy production in different countries, the plastic waste keeps accumulating to the nature.
Sulapac is a completely new, fully biodegradable packaging material innovation made out of wood. The company use wood only from sustainably managed Nordic forests. It contains no harmful components, has a low carbon footprint, and can be manufactured, mass-produced and molded in the same way as plastic. Its water, oil and oxygen resistance are the same as with plastic, still being fully ecological product.
Sulapac material is designed for the environmentally conscious customers and companies who value premium design. It is also the first mass-producible biodegradable packaging material in the world.
CEO and Co-founder, PhD (Medical Biomaterials). Suvi is responsible for sourcing funding and making sure there is a passionate business-minded team behind Sulapac. She has extensive experience of leadership and project management in the Netherlands and Finland, and has published dozens of scientific articles in international journals in the field of biomaterials.