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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Vesta Smart Packaging provides a revolutionary approach to the supply and management of goods for the home and business.
The vast majority of consumer goods are packaged for storage. Packaging must last at least as long as what its holding, hence all the plastic! By moving to refillable, durable and smart alternatives, Vesta can help their merchant partners to change this – eliminating damaging single use plastics from global supply chains and creating efficient and sustainable business models for the benefit of all.
With the system of sustainable refill packaging, Vesta Smart Packaging aims at helping both merchants and consumers reduce the impact of packaging on the environment. The smart containers know when they’re empty, and automatically reorder environmentally friendly refills.
Their circular model provides high value to manufacturers (increased margin, repeat sales, consumer loyalty and analytics) and end users (convenience and security).
Their business model is simple:
Several models of Vesta packaging are available, but they can also be made to order for brands wishing to retain full control over the look and feel of their packaging solutions.
The Vesta Platform monitors all devices and translates sensor readings into their refill algorithms and automatically handles most device faults.
They provide basic analytics with the platform, but can design a dashboard solution to fit with their customer's product base and strategy. It provides the opportunity for manufacturers to observe the holdings and performance of their products in the homes and businesses they are being used in. This can support significant cost savings exercises within supply chain, such as storage costs at distribution nodes and the potential to develop enhanced services, such as product bundling.
The packagings are customizable for liquids or solids. They can be used for dishwasher tablets, coffee & tea, shampoo and conditioner, cleaning sprays, laundry products, dry foods.
Their solution is designed to be both economically and environmentally sustainable. This system will help reduce the usage of single-use plastic and change the way consumers and businesses manage supplies of the things that matter the most.
The first trials will be in the UK and the team hope to expand in the US and Canada.