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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Upprinting Food is a Dutch company that converts food waste that consists of bread, fruits, and vegetables, into a paste and makes 3D printed cookies and snacks from it.
In the Netherlands, the most wasted food product is bread, and next to that are fruits and vegetables, which are often thrown away either because of their appearance or they're too ripe for sale. One-third of the food produced worldwide is wasted. Therefore, Upprinting Food is a way of using residual food flow and creating food that looks good and is delicious.
How is it done?
Purees are formed by mixing and combining the different ingredients from residual food flows, which are then 3D printed by a food printer.
The prints are then baked and dehydrated for crunch and longevity.
They have created various recipes using both bread and rice; they're also working towards creating new recipes. The company is also focusing on collaborating with high-end restaurants to help them reduce the residual food flow and to create unique dining experiences.
Upprinting Food also works with chefs to create unique and personalized designs that fit their dishes. They also provide chefs unique recipes to print from their leftover food and also offer professional training to chefs and staff to work with the 3D printers and food waste in their restaurants.