'Compostable' Packaging and Plastic items
A packaging item compliant with the 'compostability' criteria set in BS EN 13432 is 'compostable'. Similarly, a plastic non-packaging item compliant with the 'compostability' criteria set in BS EN 14995 is 'compostable'.
For many standards, including BS EN 13432, independent certification bodies offer product assessment and certification services. In the UK, Renwable Energy Assurance Limited operates such a scheme in partnership with the German certification body DIN CERTCO. This scheme is aligned to the requirements of BS EN 13432.
Packaging items certified to BS EN 13432 and plastic items certified to BS EN 14995 are acceptable inputs to those commercial composting systems with appropriate waste codes in their permits, licences or registered exemptions.
Those composters who produce compost certified compliant with the PAS 100 specification for composted materials (and the Compost Quality Protocol where applicable) can only accept packaging items if they are independently certified compliant with BS EN 13432, and can only accept plastic items if they are independently certified compliant with BS EN 14995.
In order to gain 'compostable' certification for a packaging or plastic item, comprehensive documentary evidence and product test results are essential.
For more information about the certification scheme for 'compostable' packaging and plastic non-packaging items please contact Georgia Phetmanh at REAL (0207 981 0875 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit the DIN Certco website.
BBIA guidance on the use of compostable carrier bagsBBIA have released guidance on how the 5p carrier bag charge affects compostable carrier bags.
Independent Certification SchemeIn the UK, AfOR operates a certification scheme in partnership with the German certification body Din Certco, aligned to the requirements of BS EN 13432. Packaging certified to BS EN 13432 is an acceptable input material to commercial composting systems
Guidance and report: using compostables at eventsGuidelines and report on using compostable products and packaging at 'closed venue' events.
LOCOG ~ Games changer for reuse, recycling and compostingTogether, LOCOG and its contractors have reused, recycled and composted a considerable percentage of operational wastes from the games venues.
Bioplastics in ADThis American article discusses a packaging material that is suitable for disposal by anaerobic digestion (AD). As AD is becoming increasingly favoured as a disposal option for bio-wastes this could represent away forward.
EN13432 Compostable PackagingThere are several levels of recognition under the EN13432 scheme. This site gives access to the list of registered materials.
Registered Materials, Intermediates & Additives, & Certified ProductsThe following links direct you to Din Certco and Vincotte lists of registered (approved) materials, intermediates, additives. They also include certified 'finished products'. Specific information on the allowed max thickness, type designation, dimensions and contact details are displayed.
British Standard on oxo-biodegradation of plasticsThe British Standards Institution has published a standard named BS 8472 "Methods for the assessment of the oxo-biodegradation of plastics and of the phyto-toxicity of the residues in controlled laboratory conditions".
AfOR's position on 'compostable' packaging and plasticsThe Association for Organics Recycling advocates:
- the targeted use of 'compostable' packaging;
- promotion of the standards for biodegradable and compostable packaging and plastics;
Suitable applications for compostable packagingCertified compostable products are suitable for a range of applications such as primary packaging, carrier bags, tableware (plates, cups etc.) and bags for separate collection of biowaste.
Terminology IntroductionThe terms biodegradable, degradable and compostable are used interchangeably, particularly when the media discusses packaging and carrier bags. Often you are led you to believe their meaning is the same but this is far from the truth.
Packaging waste directive and standardsEN 13432 'Packaging: requirements for packaging recoverable through composting and biodegradation' - was introduced in 2000
WRAP Position - Biopolymer packaging in the UK grocery market
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