ASTM - Specification for Biobased

ASTM - American Society of Testing and Materials 
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ASTM D6866

  • 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.

ASTM D6400

  • Specification for Compostable Plastics
  • For plastic films and solid plastic products
  • Specifies Three Criteria
    1. Disintegration
      • 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)
    2. 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)
    3. Safety
      • No impacts on plant growth, using OECD Guide 208
      • Regulated (heavy) metals less than 50% of EPA prescribed threshold

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 independent approved labs and reviewers
  • Not based only upon manufacturer's claims
  • Recognized by municipalities and composters across US and Canada

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ASTM D6868

  • 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.

Compostable Plastics - Global Standards