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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VERGE Accelerate is a fast-pitch competition featuring entrepreneurs and startups with innovative technologies, products, and services related to at least one of the following categories: energy, transportation, circular economy or carbon removal.
Selected candidates will get to pitch on the main stage during VERGE 19 conference to a live audience of over 3,000 business leaders, officials and investors and to a global online audience. If you have an early-stage company and meet the criteria, this opportunity is for you.
Eligibility criteria - the qualifying entrepreneurs:
Are developing technology solutions (commercially applicable products or services) related to at least one of the following categories mentioned above;
Are incorporated and have a product ready for testing or deployment;
Have less than $5M in combined investment and current revenue.
How to apply: the team member that will deliver the pitch record a 60 seconds video (using a phone is possible) indicating:
The market its company is addressing.
Why they want to pitch at VERGE.
The qualifying videos will be reviewed and the Green Biz committee will select the finalists invited to pitch at VERGE 19.
June 3 – August 2: Entrepreneurs submit 60-second video nominations.
August 7 – September 4: Community votes to help decide the finalists.
September 16: Finalists announced.
October 22-24: The three Accelerate pitch sessions take place at VERGE 19 in Oakland, CA.
Targeted exposure: Selected finalists will be joined on stage by hand-selected industry experts, giving them exposure to investors, corporates and decision makers with deep experience working with entrepreneurs.
Global exposure: VERGE Accelerate will take place on the main stage of VERGE 19, amplifying the finalists and their solutions to a captive audience of ~3,000 attendees and thousands more tuned in to the free global live stream.
Ongoing exposure: Beyond the live event, finalists will benefit from broad amplification via GreenBiz.com editorial coverage, the GreenBiz 350 podcast, and published videos of the pitches.
Startup Showcase exposure: Finalists will automatically qualify as participants in the VERGE Startup Showcase, giving them physical space in the exhibit hall and facilitated opportunities to connect directly with potential partners and investors.