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. You need to create an account to continue.
Please Susbscribe to get free access to our newsletter, solutions database, knowledge resources and more.
Founded in 1972, Ranpak delivers environmentally responsible packaging material to effectively cushion and protect products during shipment. The company has introduced the WrapPak® Protector, a range of multilayered, waved papers to use as insulation for shipping goods.
With WrapPak® Protector, Ranpak aims to make insulation packaging more efficient, durable and sustainable. With the paper being renewable, biodegradable, non-toxic and cost-effective, the WrapPak® Protector is built on efficient design of paper for packaging insulation.
WrapPak® Protector allows simple box-lining by using wide paper pads to cover the surface with a single insert. The ability of the paper to provide insulation makes it ideal for use in the shipping of cold chain products like groceries, meat, meals and other perishable ingredients. It offers a number of benefits like:
Space-Saving: allowing more volume of products to be shipped.
Scalable: the use of paper reduces the cost of packaging insulation, making it ideal for large-scale use.
Flexible: WrapPak can be made in different lengths and numbers offering versatile packaging.
Size: the Protector is small enough to use as a stand-alone unit or in-line.
The product can replace a number of commercial insulation materials like styrofoam, plastics, tapes and inserts. It can also be used for wrapping, block and bracing and box lining.
The WrapPak® Protector is used in a number of industries, mainly food and beverage, electronics, furnishings and retail. It was selected as one of the finalists in the 2019 National Geographic and Sky Ocean Ventures' Ocean Plastic Innovation Challenge.