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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Uflex has pioneered the growth of the flexible packaging industry in India. Founded in 1988, Uflex has manufacturing facilities in India and overseas in Dubai, Mexico, USA, Poland & Egypt.
The company, which describes itself as a pioneer in multilayer plastic manufacturing and recycling, says it is scaling up its recycling strength to help build a circular economy. The company has 6 locations in India: Noida (2 locations), Malanpur, Haridwar, Jammu, Silvasa. All are equipped to recycle collected postconsumer PET Bottles as well as multi-layer plastic film and convert them into chips and granules. That output can in turn, be “put into further use to make products with economic value”.
The combined capacity of all location is 1500 Tonnes/Month. The following combination can be recycled:
PET / Poly
BOPP / Poly
PET / MET PET / Poly
BOPP / MET PET / Poly
PET / CPP BOPP / CPP
For this, the company developed RELAM 250 machine, a recycling machine induced with a technology that makes all types of multi-layered flexible plastics (MLP) bags, carry bags, etc be recycled homogeneously.
The waste reach the recycling facility once washed, amnd go through the following process:
A Magnetic Separator detects and removes all metal objects followed by the Crusher which reduces it into smaller pieces
This material is then taken thru a series of friction water, hot water and Alkali wash before the flake are fed into the flotation tank.
The squeezer machine removes the moisture content to less than 1% to enable ease of recycling and granulating This is the recycling and granulating line where washed Post Consumer MLP waste is fed.
The granules which are formed are cut in a die face cutter into a uniform size.
The percentage of virgin plastic and the recycled granules varies depending upon the mechanical and other properties desired of the finished product and typically varies between 25 % to 50 %.
The yield of the recycled granules post washing and granulating varies from 75 % to 95 % depending upon the condition of the waste material & contamination like oil, grease, dust, mud & all types of muck which is found in the environment.
The company will open recycling plant abroad soon:Poland, Mexico, Egypt, Hungary, Moscow, USA, Nigeria.