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 Good Plastic Company manufactures panels from 100% recycled post-consumer plastic, to create eco-friendly furniture and interior design products.
Post-consumer plastic like Polypropylene, Polyethylene and ABS are transformed into decorative panels by the company through a unique machinery process. The machine can convert 90% of the plastic into panels of 1x1 m dimensions with a 5 to 30 mm thickness. The machine uses renewable wind-based energy making it zero footprints, and all plastic leftovers are recycled making the entire process a zero waste one. Additionally, the machine is transportable making it efficient for global use.
Presently, The Good Plastic Company provides the following products:
Starry Night: dark coloured HDPE post-consumer plastic.
Houndstooth: Scottish design using PP laundry detergent bottles.
First day of Snow: black and white using LDPE plastic bags.
Aurora Lights: Aurora pattern using PP post-consumer plastic.
All panels are shipped internationally, are recyclable and have a variety of uses. Customers can also request customized panels manufactured from their own plastic waste. The Good Plastic Company envisions these decorative panels being used for modern-looking eco-conscious furniture and interior design elements.
Currently, the company is working on a project with the City of Amsterdam for an upcoming sports event. The company currently has manufacturing units in the Netherlands, UK and Ukraine. It plans to expand to Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Japan and the US in the near future.