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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Terradona addresses the problem that while over 80% of the French sort their waste, only 44% do so properly. Terradona’s solution can be used as recycling tools by users, local authorities and businesses. They have worked with Leti and 4 design offices to develop their technology called "Consigne 2.0”, which consists of:
• A material characterization system: this consists of smart waste detectors that identify the type of waste being added into a bin or container. When a person puts in paper in a containers for glass, they are alerted by a message. It is small and cost effective, and can be used with any of the existing containers. This sensor also estimates the volume of waste.
• Cliiink: This a smart tool that comes in the form of a card or an app that can be used with a smartphone. With this tool people can identify the closest smart container. Once there, the app can connect to the container, so that when the waste is deposited, the smartphone is credited with points for recycling properly. These points can be used directly or converted into gift tokens which can be used in several retail outlets who support the program.
• Waste Container Collection: The sensors in the city containers enable waste management agencies to plan and optimize their collection routes, saving fuel and money by avoiding partially full containers.
The startup has received the Embarque Trophées 2015, Pole CSC Awards 2015, and RSE PACA 2015. It was also included as among the list of 100 innovators cited by special edition COP21 of the Environment Magazine International.
Jean founded Terradona in the year 2013, he has developed an innovative solution in the waste sorting field to equip smart towns and to encourage each eco-citizen to adopt the attitude. He is specialized in sustainable development and technology and offered innovative solutions to help the towns and cities save money when recycling waste. This activity ranges from the design and development of technical solutions to the creation of recycling tools for users and local authorities.