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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Synova’s waste-to-chemicals technology is a form of chemical recycling designed to displace the need for virgin fuels and reduce climate impacts. Founded in 2012, the components that differentiate Synova from other technologies situate it perfectly for closing the gap in plastic circularity and helping consumer product and petrochemical companies achieve targets for reducing waste and utilizing more recycled plastics.
Synova’s patented technology is uniquely poised to close the current gap in the plastic value chain. Key differentiators between Synova’s thermochemical recycling technology and its competitors include:
Ability to process MSW, including mixed plastic waste
Creates high value molecules that can be used in numerous applications, including BTX and olefins, RNG and electricity
‘Best in Class’ gas cleanup train, making resultant gas more usable
Patented process removes 99.5% of unwanted tars through thermal cracking and uses the energy value to create a highly efficient process with a better CO2 footprint
Synova’s technology was developed by Dutch research organization ECN (now known as TNO). More than 15 years and $50 million have been invested in developing this process to date. Synova’s relationship with TNO allows for a deep technical bench and a source of new IP that Synova can access.
Synova’s technology has more than 8,000 hours of independently verified testing. It has multiple scales, bench, PDU and a commercial-scale experiment. There is no ‘basic science risk’ and scaling risks are able to be quantified independently. Capital is needed to propel the company and process through the inflection point in the last mile of commercialization.
Synova, technically positioned to become the leader in advanced recycling.