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.
Thank you for your interest in Ubuntoo. We’re excited that you’re here! You will need premium membership with us to access this GreenHouse. To continue, please upgrade your membership.To continue, you’ll need an account with us.
Up-fuse is a lifestyle brand and social enterprise that creates timeless pieces from used plastic waste as well as supporting local and ethical production.
With plastic bags taking almost 1000 years to decompose, it is one of the main environmental issues around the globe. Especially in Egypt, where they are facing daily pollution to an extreme extent. Up-fuse has developed techniques to upcycle plastic bags, transforming them into sustainable fashionable bags and accessories. Reducing waste also means reusing existing waste. One bag they produce can hinder almost 30 plastic bags from being thrown away.
Up-fuse has amassed a wide network of Garbage collectors, artisans, designers, sewers who are all part of Up-fuses’ local production in order to assist in the sourcing as well as the creation process. Their bags are sustainably produced in their in-house workshop by talented local sewers.
Up-fuse works with the local NGO “Roh El Shabab” in Manshayet Nasr (the “Garbage City” in Cairo) to produce the recycled plastic material. A part of their revenue goes back to the NGO to support its activities of providing education and health awareness to the Mansheyet Naser community. Currently 16 women work for Up-fuse to create our recycled material.
Up-fuse has proudly been producing more than 10,000 items for local and international businesses with social and environmental mission. They have also exceeded many milestones including, Start-Up Competition by Injaz Egypt (2014), Incubated by The Do School in Hamburg, Germany (2014), Wemena Women competition- 1st Place (2017),Switch Med Seed fund competition (2018).