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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TRIA is a sustainable food packaging company. They provide a wide range of earth-friendly disposable packaging and tableware including lunch boxes, cake boxes, carriers, cups and cutlery. They use sustainable materials such as bamboo and recycled fibers, and innovative design to stay ahead of the competition. Many of their products are developed in-house from concept through to industrialisation, for which they own over 30 design patents globally. By seeing it through from design to manufacture, they keep cost lean and pass on the saving to the consumer.
They take pride in their capacity to challenge well-established packaging archetypes with innovative designs. They believe good designs and innovation can be a catalyst for positive change.
Their Bio24 programme (using Bio 24 Digestor) is a food waste recycling programme for the fast-peaced city. It transforms food waste and compostable foodware (from their own NEUTRIA materials) into farm-ready fertilizer in 24 hours, making it easy to manage the tremendous food waste existent around the world, and putting it to good use.
2 campuses of United World College (Sodexo) have used the bio24 programme and will soon have an on-site installation of the digestors.
The company is constantly pushing the limits of innovation, thinking in terms of value creation and environmental gain.
Ng Pei Kang founded the company in 2017 with the vision to help restore the environment by eliminating single-use plastic. Prior to this, he was working at Geometria (a design and consultancy firm with a goal for elegant and sustainable solutions) as Partner & Advisor.