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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Verdeco Recycling is a California based company and produces FDA approved food-grade secondary plastic pellets that can be made into packaging material for food and other high-value applications.
Their production method takes advantage of the growing amounts of PET bottles that are produced and consumed, and which require a responsible means of disposal and recycling. They use the advance PET-M recycling process developed by PTP Group Ltd in Europe.
Instead of using high pressure and vaccums for extended periods of time, PET-M process uses a Silane-based modifying agent to restore physical and mechanical properties of post-consumer PET. This technology reduces the use of energy which also results in less carbon emissions. The RPET resin can be used in any and all applications where virgin PET is utilized.
They produce 50 million pounds of recycled PET annually. They use 100% of post consumer plastic feedstock. The process includes severals steps: drying, extrusion (modification and degassing), melt filtration and pelletizing. The decontamination effect of this process is well established, and the resin produced meetsFDA standards (LNO #148) for food packaging.
Vercedo recycling is a California-based company founded in the year 2011 by Alexander Delnik who is also the Chief Executive Officer. Delnik’s aim was for the company to produce recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate in the use of food packaging.