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Issue 02/2017

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Packaging
  • Biodegradable
  • Materials
  • Products
  • Biobased
  • Films
  • Plastics
  • Compostable
  • Germany

Basics Update on

Basics Update on relevant standards for the bioplastics industry in Europe Standardisation is an effort by industrial stakeholders to define generally accepted criteria and guidelines for the description of products, services, and processes. The aim is to ease competition and commercial growth by overcoming barriers that result from unclear or inconsistent specifications and communication, to introduce benchmarks for desirable quality requirements, and to prevent fraudulent market behaviour. While there is no comprehensive EU legislation specifically harmonising standards for environmental and product marketing claims, the European Commission as well as national governments, ministries, and independent standardisation institutes have issued a multitude of standards that can serve as a basis for evaluating claims for bioplastics and other bio-based and biodegradable products. The harmonisation of standards on EU-level through CEN certainly has added value insofar as standards should apply equally across participants in the same market. Relevant standards for bio-based plastics: Several standards are in place describing methods on how to determine the bio-based content of a material or product. EN 16640 “Bio-based products – Determination of the biobased carbon content of products using the radiocarbon method“, for example, describes how to measure the carbon isotope 14 C (radiocarbon method). The standard EN 16785-1 “Bio-based products – Bio-based content – Part 1: Determination of the bio-based content using the radiocarbon analysis and elemental analysis“ has been developed to also account for other bio-based elements in a polymer through elemental analysis of renewable content of a bio-based product. Additionally, there are standards on how to describe the principles of life cycle assessment for bio-based products. The standard EN 16760 “Bio-based products - Life Cycle Assessment” provides specific LCA requirements and guidance for bio-based products based on the ISO 14040 series of standards. Furthermore, standard EN 16751 attempts to standardise sustainability criteria of bio-based products. However, it does not include any thresholds or limits and is not suitable for making authoritative claims regarding the sustainability of products or operations. There are numerous certification schemes for the sustainability of biomass, for example ISCC PLUS, RSB (Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials), or REDcert. Relevant standards for biodegradable plastics: The harmonised standard EN 13432 “Requirements for packaging recoverable through composting and biodegradation” requires at least 90% disintegration after twelve weeks and at least 90% biodegradation (i.e. CO 2 evolvement) within six months, and it includes tests on ecotoxicity and heavy metal content. It is the standard for biodegradable packaging designed for treatment in industrial composting facilities and anaerobic digestion. The standard EN 14995 describes the same requirements and tests, however it applies not only to packaging, but to plastics in general. With regard to biodegradability in other environments than industrial composting, first national standards and test methods have been developed. The French standard NF T 51-800 “Plastics — Specifications for plastics suitable for home composting” published in 2015 requires at least 90 % biodegradation in 12 months at ambient temperature. A EU standard for home compostable plastic carrier bags is expected to be developed in the near future. The standard prEN 17033 “Biodegradable mulch films for use in agriculture and horticulture – Requirements and test methods” (publication expected in 2017) will specify the requirements for biodegradable mulch films. Examples for different compostability lables: The Seedling, the OK Compost label, the US/Canada composting label and the Japanese GreenPLA compostable label 48 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/17] Vol. 12

Basics Stand G05 · Hall 9 By: Constance Ißbrücker Head of Environmental Affairs European Bioplastics e.V. Berlin, Germany There is no standard providing clear pass/fail criteria for the biodegradation of plastics in seawater. The US standard ASTM D7081 “Standard Specification for Non-Floating Biodegradable Plastics in the Marine Environment” has been withdrawn without replacement. However, the test methods that were referred to are still in place, but do not offer any pass/fail criteria. Environmental communication guidelines: There are already numerous standards and test methods available that provide a normative framework for explaining the properties biobased’ and biodegradable in connection with plastic materials and products. Claims about bio-based plastics and products can be substantiated in accordance with the requirements that the standards described above specify. The upcoming standard EN 16935 “Bio-based products - Requirements for Business-to-Consumer communication and claims” will set out clear requirements for communicating the benefits and properties of bio-based plastics. These standards offer a first basis for assessing bioplastics and provide recommendations for sound communication on corresponding claims - a prerequisite for successful market performance. You can find a more comprehensive overview of all relevant standards in the fact sheet ‘Relevant standards and labels for bioplastics’ (http://docs.european-bioplastics. org/publications/fs/EUBP_FS_Standards.pdf) or on the European Bioplastics website www.european-bioplastics. org. During interpack 2017, European Bioplastics will offer two workshops designed to provide a thorough overview over bioplastics in general as well as the environmental communication of bioplastics based on relevant standards. Fore more information on these workshops, please contact or visit our homepage. 9 / F07 Think Sustainable M·VERA ® bioplastics With our M·VERA® range of biobased and biodegradable plastics (certified to EN 13432), we provide you with customised solutions for your application: • Film Such as shopping bags, fruit and vegetable bags or agricultural films • Injection moulding Such as packaging, coffee capsules, cutlery and others • Color, carbon black and additive masterbatches Our team of highly experienced plastic specialists is pleased to help you – contact us! BIO-FED Branch of AKRO-PLASTIC GmbH BioCampus Cologne · Nattermannallee 1 50829 Cologne · Germany Phone: +49 221 88 8894-00 Fax: +49 221 88 88 94-99 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/17] Vol. 12 49

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