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Issue 03/2016

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  • Bioplastics
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Basics Disintegration

Basics Disintegration Disintegration is evaluated at pilot-scale by simulating a real composting environment following ISO 16929:2013 [19]. In this case, samples in their final form [20, 21] are mixed with fresh artificial bioresidue. Oxygen concentration, temperature and humidity are regularly controlled. After 12 weeks, the resulting composts are sieved and the remaining amount of material in pieces > 2 mm, if any, is determined. Photographs are taken in order to follow the physical disappearance of materials (fig. 4). Pass level to be considered disintegrable under composting conditions is > 90 % in ≤ 2 mm. If this pass level is achieved a physico-chemical characterization of resulting composts (blank and with sample) is conducted in order to determine that the quality of the compost is not affected. Parameters such as: total dry solids, volatile solids, pH, ammonium nitrogen (N-NH 4 ), nitrite nitrogen (N-NO 2 ), nitrate nitrogen (N-NO 3 ), total nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), salt content, density, and maturity level (Rottegrad) are determined. Ecotoxicity: Ecotoxicity of the resulting compost is evaluated in plants following OECD 208 (2006) [22]. For this purpose, material in powder is added to the bioreactor with fresh bioresidue following the same procedure than in the disintegration test [23]. A comparison is made with the compost resulting from blank bioreactors and bioreactors containing the material tested with regards to plant seedling emergence and growth. Both parameters should be higher than 90 % with respect to the blank compost to pass the test. Two different species are evaluated such as garden cress (Lepidium sativum) and summer barley (Hordeum vulgare). Finally, in order to fulfill the requirements stated in the European Parliament and Council Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste, an end-of-life option has to be selected before placing a packaging product in the market. Composting is one of the diverse recovery options available to reduce and recycle packaging waste. However, because of the increasing number of new compostable materials in the market and in development, it is necessary to certify that these new products are compostable following standardized testing methods and identifying them with well-recognized logos promoted by several well-positioned entities. This will also help final consumers to properly manage packaging when it achieves its end-of-life and becomes waste. References and Remarks [1] Thielen, M.: Bioplastics: Basics. Applications. Markets, Polymedia Publisher GmbH, 2012 [2] Mensitieri, G., Di Maio, E., Buonocore, G. G., Nedi, I., Oliviero, M., Sansone, L., and Iannace, S. 2011. Processing and shelf life issues of selected food packaging materials and structures from renewable resources. Trends in Food Science & Technology, 22(2–3), 72-80. [3] Queiroz, A. U. B., and Collares-Queiroz, F. P. 2009. Innovation and industrial trends in bioplastics. Polymer Reviews, 49(2), 65-78. [4] Balaguer, M. P. 2015. Doctoral Thesis. Development of active bioplastics based on wheat proteins and natural antimicrobials for food packaging applications. [5] EN 13432. Packaging. Requirements for packaging recoverable through composting and biodegradation. Test scheme and evaluation criteria for the final acceptance of packaging. [6] [7] VINÇOTTE: [8] DIN-CERTCO: verzeichnisse/FirstSpirit_14406522318292015-08-26_Liste_ Prueflaboratorien_List_of_testing_laboratories_BAW.pdf [9] ASTM D 6400. Standard Specification for Labeling of Plastics Designed to be Aerobically Composted in Municipal or Industrial Facilities [10] ISO 18606. Packaging and the environment - Organic recycling. [11] ISO 17088. Specifications for compostable plastics. [12] EN 14995. Plastics. Evaluation of the compostability. Program of testing and specification [13] Co is only needed for Canadian certification. [14] Taking into account a material similar to PLA, 3 months could be enough. [15] Does not follow EN 13432, but it is accepted for certification in some specific cases. [16] ISO 14855-1:2012. Determination of the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials under controlled composting conditions - Method by analysis of evolved carbon dioxide - Part 1: General method. [17] Constituents which are present at the concentrations of less than 1% do not need to demonstrate biodegradability. However, the sum of such constituents shall not exceed 5%. [18] Also 90% with respect to a reference (cellulose) is considered as valid. However, the sum of such constituents shall not exceed 5%. [19] ISO 16929:2013. Plastics - Determination of the degree of disintegration of plastic materials under defined composting conditions in a pilot-scale test. [29] Large materials are reduced in pieces of 5 cm x 5 cm or 10 cm x 10 cm for films. [21] For products and materials that are made in several thicknesses only the thickest need to be tested. [22] OECD 208 (2006). Terrestrial Plant Test: Seedling Emergence and Seedling Growth Test. [23] The compost that has to be used for this test is produced at the same time that disintegration tests are performed. Figure 5. Climatic chamber with photoperiod used for the evaluation of ecotoxic effects in plants. Figure 4. Disintegration of a sample under simulated composting conditions in a pilot-scale test. 44 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/16] Vol. 11

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