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Sustainability News

Composting at home is easy doable

Let's talk about compostability and what you can do at home, yourself, everyday, no excuses: Compost is organic material that can be added to soil to help plants grow. Food scraps and yard waste together currently make up more than 28 percent of what we throw away, and should be composted instead. No bio-waste should end up in normal waste, where the valuable nutrients are destroyed in the incinerator or landfills, contributing to methane gas production, a potent greenhouse gas.

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Household plastic recycling is a disaster; can biobased plastics be part of the solution?

From the 8 billion metric tons of plastics which have been produced since the 1950’s hardly 10% has been recycled. Recycling of plastic waste is problematic in general, but this pertains especially to the highly polluted, fragmented mix of household plastics. To make anything useful out of this diverse stream is increasingly becoming a herculean task. With the global production of plastic set to double within the next 15 years we need swift and concrete solutions. Marginal gains won’t get us out of this recycling mess. Fortunately, there are ways to solve it and biobased materials are part of the answer.

 

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New studies claim Mater-Bi to be fully marine biodegradable

Thorough research commissioned by Italian bioplastics manufacturer Novamont shows that Mater-Bi, which is produced by the company, will completely biodegrade in the marine environment. Despite the presented evidence of Mater-Bi’s biodegradability, Novamont is, however, keen to stress that this is not an excuse for the improper disposal of Mater-Bi packaging or bioplastics products in general.

Mater-Bi Production 1

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Our take on the single-use plastics directive from the European Commission

The amount of plastic waste in oceans and seas is growing rapidly and causes widespread concern. On 28 May 2018, the European Commission presented a comprehensive set of measures in the new single-use (SUP) directive to address the important issues of littering and marine pollution, with the additional objective to stimulate the circular economy.

Our view

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Microplastics are entering our food chain

Something you might have experienced before on the beach: just as you plant your feet in the sand, you start to feel little pieces of plastic between your toes. This is actually a substantial part of marine litter; you can’t see it but you can feel it. A recent scientific study found that every kilogram of European sand contained on average 250 microplastics: fragments smaller than 5 mm. There are even traces of significantly smaller plastic fragments, called nanoplastics. Ironically, these tiny bits of plastic cause the greatest problems.  All different types and sizes of plastic form the plastic soup. The world’s ever increasing use of plastics has created large areas of floating plastic waste in rivers and oceans and many of these plastics break down into smaller fragments. Our demand for plastic does not only have devastating consequences for the oceans, but marine wildlife is also affected by plastic pollution. It appears that fish tend to mistake the scent of plastic for food and ingest it on purpose. Because the vast majority of plastics is not biodegradable, let alone (bio)degradable, it will remain in the environment for a long time. Through various ways, for example by eating fish and shellfish, these small fragments of plastic have entered our food chain and our bodies. 

 

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PEFC - Sustainable sourcing of wood and paper

Wood and paper packaging is interwoven through our everyday lives in undeniable ways. To ensure the continued availability (for production) of wood products, such as paper and cardboard, it is necessary, next to recycling, to manage forests sustainably. PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, promotes worldwide sustainable forest management through forest certification and the products that come from (these) certified woods. At Bio Futura we carry various certificates, including PEFC, to provide our clients with insight and assurance that our products are sourced in the most sustainable way. For the purchase of our products, our suppliers have to meet strict requirements regarding sustainability and quality. In this article we focus specifically on PEFC; what does PEFC stand for and how can this internationally recognized certification be obtained? 

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‘Beyond green borders’ presentation at the PEFC conference ‘Green washing or Green business ’- Empack fair

During the last edition of Empack, one the biggest packaging fairs in the Netherlands, Bio Futura was invited by PEFC, a quality mark for sustainable paper and wood products, to give a presentation about sustainable packaging, the topic was  ‘Green washing or Green business’. This event provided an important opportunity to tell more about the challenges that we face as a sustainable company. An important occasion, because “sustainability” is increasingly used as a catch all for corporate social responsibility or addressing environmental issues. In this presentation we wanted to talk about our company’s core values and share our vision on sustainable entrepreneurship, which will hopefully inspire others.

Flowers Green

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Dutch government chooses to recycle biobased paper hot cups

In the last few years the Dutch government has selected sustainability as one of the cornerstones of it policy. This commitment is also reflected in their increased use of biobased products, which are wholly or partly derived from renewable resources i.e. plants. Following on from this, the government decided to take action against the use of non-biodegradable plastic cups, which are still commonly used in the workplace. Meanwhile, various companies and governments have already opted for the large-scale purchasing of sustainable types of hot (beverage) cups. The Dutch government did not lag behind and decided to purchase paper cups with a polylactic acid (PLA) coating. PLA is a biobased and compostable plastic. Until 2017, these PLA cups were nevertheless processed in a waste energy plant, in other words incinerated. For this reason, the government’s purchasers requested Wageningen Food & Biobased Research and TNO to carry out an environmental analysis. In this study, two sustainable end-of-life routes, after separate collection of the used PLA cups, were compared: recycling or digestion plus composting. The report has revealed that recycled cups have a better environmental performance.  
(Unfortunately only available in Dutch

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