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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Yuma Labs (formerly W.R. Yuma) turns plastic waste into unique sunglasses that are designed and engineered in Antwerp, Belgium, and produced in Italy. The company is named after the sunniest place on earth; Yuma, in Arizona, USA.
Yuma Labs is built on the conviction that sustainable fashion should be equal in quality and not more expensive than conventional fashion. Their belief is that sustainability has to go mainstream, in the interest of the future of our planet. It's not waste until it's wasted. The team is launching their new circular sunglasses, called "Lazlo." "Lazo" means "knot" or "loop," and refers to the circular aspect.
Process: Initially started with 3D printing, but now Yuma Labs has reverted to a full injection-molding process. After the frames are manufactured they are carefully assembled and finished by hand, one at a time. Then they are fitted with polarized lenses for an unrivaled visual experience and 100% UV protection.
Materials: The frames are made from 100% recycled PET bottles from Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, and manufactured in Italy. The packaging is done in a social workshop in Antwerp.
End-of-life-recycling for a circular economy: If the sunglasses do come to their end, the specially designed case allows the customer to simply put the sunglasses in the mail (the return label is integrated). Upon their return, the sunglasses can be disassembled, and the raw mono-material can be further recycled into new sunglasses. In addition, the customer receives an incentive as a reward.
During the 2020 crowdfunding campaign, organizations or companies can order a volume package of sunglasses, with their own logo printed on the sides, and provide its customers and / or employees with a modern and sustainable article that stands for the new circular economy. You can sign up here: https://go.yuma-labs.com/sign-up
The company was started in 2016 by Sebastiaan de Neubourg, and since 2019 was joined by Lenja Doms and Roald Duchateau. The product has been featured in prominent mainstream publications and organizations like Huffington Post, World Economic Forum, and Thomas Reuters.
Sebastiaan de Neubourg started the firm in 2015. He also started Biomimicry Belgium a social organisation that he works at in the same year. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master degree in Management.
Partner at Yuma Labs
Partner bij Yuma Labs