THESIS - Compostable Plastic - A Sustainable Solution To Petroleum Based Packaging?
- Protect And Control -
To ensure and control the products abilities to become compost, standards and certifications have been developed by different institutions. The European Commission has issued the EN 13432 standard for industrial composting, in US the same criteria are described in ASTM-6400-99 and as well in the International Standard Organisation (ISO14855). The European standard aims to “… coordinate and harmonies all the initiatives in this context so as to ensure the flow of trade is unimpeded in European Union and prevent anticompetitive practises.“ According to The European Bioplastic this is important because “certification guarantees a high product safety and also allows a product to wear a certain label, which can help to make product information more transparent for the end-consumer.”(52)
The EU Standard specifies the four main points of industrial composting while measuring: chemical composition, biodegration, disintegration and quality of final compost and ecotoxicity.(53) For a product to obtain a certification of compostability it needs to be tested by a certification body, for example by Vinqotte (Belgium), DIN CERTICO (Germany), BPI (US). The product is then tested by a third independent party (testing laboratory). There are two main segments within the certification of compostability; industrial compostable (standard), home compostable (only Vinqotte). Industrial compostable is involved with matters that will be sent to a compost facility where temperature, humidity and other conditions are closely controlled. The difference with home compostable products are that they can degrade in lower temperature.(54)
It should be mentioned that non of the compostable certifications shown include concerns such as carbon emission, the handling and extraction of material. This requires separate certifications, seen in the case of Natureflex cellophane film. To date there is only one certificate that are includes material health, material reutilisation, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness and that is Cradle to Cradle Certified™.(55)