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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Thread of Life manufacture a "Farmer to Fabric" collection of hand-dyed natural-dyed fabrics brings the production values of their partner weaving communities to the work of their own dye studio in rural Bali: they use natural dyes by natural processes, avoiding synthetic additives; they work by hand, so that the mastery of their in-house dyers is evident in the look and feel of every unique piece.
They source their dyes directly from the farmers they have trained to grow and process the dyes.
To achieve tones of indigos they have dye vats of varying strengths. The dye paste used in these vats is processed and supplied by farmers we have trained in Central Java, east Bali, and central Flores who grow Strobilanthes cusia, and in Timor who grow Indigofera tinctoria.
Instead of using sodium dithionite, their indigo vats are reduced with unrefined palm sugar that is sourced from farmers in east Bali.