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Basics A certain number

Basics A certain number of products made of bioplastics are already available in the market. Almost all of them are labelled with some kind of a logo that tells the consumer about the special character of the plastics material used. These logos and their background are introduced by bioplastics MAGAZINE in this series. Here questions such as: What is the origin and history of a logo? What does it mean? Which rules are involved with it? will be adressed. Logos Part 4: The Scandinavian Once in a while you find an “apple” logo on bioplastics products. In fact there are two different “apple” logos, one being used in Norway and the other in Finland. The Finnish Solid Waste Association, FSWA (in Finnish Jätelaitosyhdistys), represents Finnish regional and municipal waste management companies. The member companies take care of the waste management for about five million citizens (94 % of the total population). FSWA is an organisation that acts as a link between the member companies, the Finnish authorities and the European Union. It is a strong developer of waste management in Finland and guarantees a sound basis for the member companies‘ operations. About ten years ago FSWA member companies started to collect biowaste, mainly organic kitchen waste, from households. “We encourage people to compost their yard waste at home in their own gardens or in special compost bins,“ says Markku Salo, Director of FSWA. Part of a large communication and promotion campaign in which the Ministry for Environment was also involved, was the creation of the biowaste-bin for the kitchen, lined with a bioplastics-bag “Finnish apple logo“. The reason for creating the logo was quite simple. When biodegradable waste bags became available people saw the bags in biowaste bins and thought they could dispose of their kitchen waste in plastic bags. So in order to distinguish compostable biowaste bags from “normal“ plastic bags, the apple-logo was printed on the bio-bags. “In Finland, biowaste bags are more or less the only compostable plastics products that are available,“ says Markku Salo. All biowaste bags carrying the apple logo are certified in line with EN 13432. In Finland today five suppliers sell certified biowaste bags with the apple logo. The logo is printed on each bag. The composting bag producers get a “brand” and a regularly promoted logo for their products. Consumers can be sure that the product meets the requirements of the standard. The same logo is well known from the waste organisation information material, biowaste bins and collection vehicles. In Norway, the situation is quite similar, as Henrik Lystad of Avfall Norge explains. The system for recommendation and labelling of compostable waste bags is operated since 2002 by Avfall Norge (Waste Management Norway, formerly NRF). Avfall Norge is a branch and interest organisation for approximately 90 municipal and intermunicipal solid waste organisations and about 50 private companies. The municipal members cover approximately 95 percent of Norway’s inhabitants. In Norway, source separation is introduced for over 60 % of the population. The municipality often buys the waste bags for their inhabitants, i.e. the provision of the bags being incluced in the refuse collection charge. Thus the logo was not created as a marketing instrument, “but to help the municipalities to distinguish the ‘good from the less good’ waste bag products,” as Henrik Lystad puts it. When the logo was created, Henrik worked with a soil research institute where he prepared the “System for recommendation and labelling of compostable waste bags”. In 38 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/07] Vol. 2

Basics “apples“ his report he suggested an apple logo, based on an already existing logo. The apple was originally created as a logo for stickers etc to put on source separation bins for biowaste together with other logos for paper, glass, textiles, residual waste etc. Later, in 2002 the apple logo for compostable waste bags was created, using the apple in conjunction with a frame all around, the word “compostable” and a certification number to be used with biowaste-bags, distinguishing it from the waste bin sticker. Like in Finland, the Norwegian apple logo is only to be used in conjunction with biowaste-bags. It may be used when the respective CEN or DIN standards for compostability are fulfilled. To ensure the functionality of the waste bags an additional criterion was defined focusing on the durability of the bags. The test method was adapted from the Belgian VGS; ”D9 programme: Bags made of bioplastics intended to collect biodegradable houehold refuse” (AIB Vincotte 1999). According to this test bags are filled with an artivicial biowaste mix and stored at up to 40° C for one week and the bag is not allowed to brake apart. Finnish apple logo The compostable logo, which is available for use on paper bags too, has, for whatever reason, not yet been adopted by the paper industry. In fact in Norway today just one company offers bio-plastic waste bags with this logo. In order to open up market competition when municipalites call for tenders, Henrik Lystad says „Avfallnorge is now considering opening the biowaste system to bag products that fulfil similar standards, for example those with the Seedling* Logo.“ *: See Logos part 1 in bioplastics MAGZINE 01/2006 Norwegian apple logo

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