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 Wally Shop is changing up the grocery game with zero-waste deliveries that come straight to their customers doors.
While a trash-free trip to the store might seem impossible, The Wally Shop’s all reusable packaging and same-day delivery means ordering groceries can be sustainable and convenient. They ensure you have local, organic, zero waste ingredients whenever you need them.
After switching to a more sustainable lifestyle, founder Tamara Lim realized how difficult zero waste grocery shopping was with a busy schedule. With single-use plastic packaging at an all-time high, grocery stores were a barrier to her sustainable endeavors. That’s why she created The Wally Shop, which combines the convenience of delivery with the responsibility of package-free groceries. By utilizing couriers who both drop-off and retrieve customers’ reusable packaging, The Wally Shop breaks down barriers to sustainable grocery shopping.
Buying groceries with The Wally Shop means you can guarantee that all ingredients are ethically purchased. They prioritize shopping at local farmers markets, supporting small businesses and choosing organic ingredients above all else.
How the Wally Shop works:
Customers create an account entering their zip code (and if they are not yet in one of the neighborhoods, they will be notified once the service is available).
A deposit is paid for the reusable packaging needed and reimbursed as a store credit once returned with the courier during another delivery.
The produce is exclusively local, organic or fairtrade and everything is shopped for on the day of the delivery so the products are as fresh as possible.
The grocery prices are the same as the ones that would be paid at the store or at the market. A service and (bike) delivery fee is added as well as a packaging deposit fee.
The company is now looking to expand to large markets such as New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Boston.