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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ZeroPrime Technologies (LLC) is an Egyptian startup working on developing smart sustainable cities infrastructure. They are currently focused on smart waste management solutions. Their first product is CanBank which is a machine that allows users to exchange beverage cans and plastic bottles for rewards of their choice like phone credit and discounts on other services. It promotes a culture of recycling and at the same time it acts as an offline promotional tool for the company's partners.
At the beginning of 2018 , they launched a pilot with three machines in American university in Cairo, Heliopolis sporting club and Ain-Shams university with 3000 users and had an agreement with Careem (A company like uber) to provide discount promo codes as rewards.
They recently signed a contract with Raya Corp to rent their CanBank in their head office and have started to get requests from many other corporates.