Ever since the development of “compostable plastics” in the late 1980s, confusion, and skepticism about claims and decompose performance has prevailed; although promoted as “environmentally friendly,” many so-called biodegradable plastic products did not biodegrade as assumed. And yet, companies of these products could make biodegradable claims because no reliably based test methods and standards existed.
Now that has evolved. In 2002, specifications and tests were made that scientifically demonstrate a material will biodegrade, leaving no persistent synthetic residues. These standards are ASTM D6400 and ASTM D6868, which do biodegradable coatings.
More importantly, technology has proceeded to the point where plastics have the functionality of actual products yet will biodegrade effectively and safely when composted in a large facility, leaving no residuals. These facilities may not exist in your community, so check with your local officials.
The Biodegradable Products Institute has created the Compostable Logo, intended to address the uncertainty that had existed for decades.
The Compostable logo creates reliability and recognition for products that match the ASTM D6400 and D6868 standards. So, users, composters, regulators, and others can be assured that the product will biodegrade as required.
The logo is designed to be easily recognizable and able to be placed on the actual product and packaging materials and sales literature.
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