Bioplastics are regulated by various certifications as well as compliance to global standards.
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“Organized in 1898, ASTM International is one of the world’s largest international standards developing organizations. Defined and set by us, ASTM standards improve the lives of millions every day. Combined with our innovative business services, they enhance performance and help everyone have confidence in the things they buy and use – from the toy in a child’s hand to the aircraft overhead. By understanding commercial needs and consumer priorities, we touch every part of everyday life – helping our world work better.” – ASTM International
- Test method that determines the amount (%) of new carbon (biomass carbon) compared to old carbon (fossil carbon)
- Based on total carbon content of the material and not total mass of the material
- Contemporary biomass has 100% radiocarbon and is absent (0%) of fossil fuels. ASTM D6866 uses this difference to determine the amount of biomass carbon vs. fossil carbon.
- Specification for compostable plastics
- For plastic films and solid plastic products
- Specifies three criteria
- Less than 10% of test material remains on 2mm sieve
- Controlled compost conditions at thermophilic conditions (135°F / 58°C) as defined in ASTM D5338 & ISO 16929 test methods
- Time: 12 weeks or less (84 days)
- Mineralization / Inherent Biodegradation
- 90% Conversion to carbon dioxide, water & biomass via microbial assimilation
- ASTM D5338 – defines test method used
- Time: 180 days or less (the same rate as natural materials – leaves, paper, grass, and food scraps)
- No impacts on plant growth, using OECD Guide 208
- Regulated (heavy) metals less than 50% of EPA prescribed threshold
- Specification for compostable plastic used on paper and other compostable substrates
- For packaging and food service items, made of plastic coated paper, board, and other fibers.
Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI)
- Provides an independent certification program for products that meet all requirements of the ASTM D6400 and ASTM D6868 (if applicable) standards
- Uses independently approved labs and reviewers
- Not based only upon manufacturer’s claims
- Recognized by municipalities and composters across the US and Canada
For more information, visit www.bpiworld.org
The European equivalent of the BPI, provides an independent certification program for products that meet all requirements of the European EN13432 standard.