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.
Thank you for your interest in Ubuntoo. We’re excited that you’re here! To continue, you’ll need an account with us.
Wavacup is a unique all-paper cup with a folding lid that eliminates the need for plastic lids and looks like modern art.
In the U.S. alone, 14 billion plastic lids are used each year, contributing to 40 million kilograms of plastic waste.
Compared to regular cups, Wavacup is more cost-effective, elegant, space-saving and sustainable. Customers desperately want a cup which they feel they will contribute to waste reduction, while having absolutely no compromise to the drinking experience. Wavacup achieves this by marrying good aesthetics to everything you’d expect from a great cup.
The founder, Tom, has been designing foldable paper cups since 2015 to reduce plastic waste. Previous designs had spilling gaps and needed major redesign. The new design, Wavacup, has an entirely new look, folds more intuitively (you can fold it with one hand only), has sealed all the gaps that can spill, and uses 10% less paper compared to previous designs. It is applicable to compostable/recyclable coating paper.
Wavacup’s integrated top allows for lower shipping, storage and material costs for both manufacturers and coffee shops, as less space will be needed to transport the cups. Its one-piece structure is optimized for mass-production using existing traditional cup-making machines. Brands will benefit because the top surface and body provide opportunities for promotional graphics and logo placement.
Wavacup has already received a lot of recognition:
It is selected as a finalist (results pending) at Katerva Awards 2019, an international award that aims to find, evaluate and accelerate disruptive sustainable innovations from around the world.
Its founder Tom Chan was Speaker at a Food Network internal event in April 2019 and at a Plastic Free Waters Partnership NY/NJ event in November 2018.
Track Record of past designs:
Won the New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize 2017 from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 2nd place at the Cooper Union’s Invention Factory Competition 2015, the Talk Trash City Pitch Competition 2017
Featured in BBC, National Geographic, Fast Company, dotNYC radio show and other press - Finalist of CITEO Circular Design Challenge in France, invited and went to Paris in March 2018 for a learning expedition -
The Early prototype was displayed at Origami Universe exhibition at Chimei Museum in Taiwan from October 2016 to May 17 - Accepted to CleanTechOpen 2018 Accelerator and Think Beyond Plastics 2018 Accelerator.
The cups were tested in NYC coffee shops and positive reviews were collected.