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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SUSTONABLE has developed a new revolutionary thin and ultra-light weight building material with the physical look and feel of engineered stone. The mineral fillers (quartz) are agglomerated by recycled thermoplastics not containing organic solvents, resulting in a sustainable, affordable, and high performance product with the look and feel of natural stone.
The product has a high impact resistance and flexural strength and can be produced in very thin (3 to 9 mm) end products. The process is based on a new technology that requires no chemical reaction during the manufacturing process.
Humanity consumes four hundred and eighty billion plastic bottles worldwide every year. Most of those bottles end up in landfills or in the environment, which is a collosal waste. Because the founders of Sustonable believed you could use them to create super strong and incredibly beautiful sheet material. The founders spent years of research in the composite stone industry and the chemical industry to develop Sustonable.
Sustonable panels claim to be 65% cheaper, 50% stronger and 90% lighter than natural stone, and are 100% recyclable. They are a substitute for stone, granite and ceramics. By mixing with waste plastic, the quantities of stone needed are reduced to a fifth of the total amounts. The stone is easy to maintain, scratch, heat and impact resistant, with the look and feel of natural stone.
The products are manufactured in Amsterdam, Noord-Holland. The biggest market for the stone currently is to make kitchen countertops. Sustonable make big sheets that they supply to fabricators, distributors and large retailers, who can use the material to produce not just countertops, but also bathroom basins, building facades, cupboard doors and indoor walls.
Their first major customer is Dekker who is one of the most innovative producers of kitchen countertops in the world, and supply to Western Europe. Sustonable sources its waste from Suez, one of the biggest recycling recovery businesses in Europe.