Certifications

Certifications

There is a lot of confusion about the terms and standards set for compostable plastics.

Below we have tried to simplify these terms and standards.

Biodegradable

Biodegradable means the material is decomposed by micro-organisms and will turn into water, carbon dioxide and biomass . However this process depends on the environment in which the material is disposed of. Compost heaps, soil and water, among other places, all have different micro-organisms and temperatures, and this will affect how well the material biodegrades.

We believe that advertising a product as biodegradable is very misleading, unless the environment in which it biodegrades is clearly specified. In addition to that the time needed for the product to biodegrade should also be specified.

Products are usually advertised as biodegradable in commercial compost systems or home compost systems, and only these two claims are well validated.

Home Composting

Some products are designed to biodegrade in home compost systems. Home compost systems don’t reach the same high temperatures as commercial composting facilities, so commercially compostable products are not always suitable for garden compost.

In order to claim a product to be home compostable, the claim must be backed up by one of the standards in Table 1.

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Commercial Composting

Some products are designed to biodegrade in commercial compost facilities.
Please note that commercial compost facilities aren’t available everywhere yet. We recommend home compostable, unless you or your customers are in a country/region where commercial compost facilities are an integrated part of the local waste stream.

In order to claim a product as commercially compostable, the claim must be backed up by one of the standards in Table 2.

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