This document specifies procedures and requirements for plastics, and products made from plastics, that are suitable for recovery through organic recycling. The four following aspects are addressed:
a) disintegration during composting;
b) ultimate aerobic biodegradation;
c) no adverse effects of compost on terrestrial organisms;
d) control of constituents.
These four aspects are suitable to assess the effects on the industrial composting process.
This document is intended to be used as the basis for systems of labelling and claims for compostable plastics materials and products.
This document does not provide information on requirements for the biodegradability of plastics which end up in the environment as litter. It is also not applicable to biological treatment undertaken in small installations by householders.
NOTE 1 The recovery of compostable plastics through composting can be carried out under the conditions found in well-managed industrial composting processes, where the temperature, water content, aerobic conditions, carbon/nitrogen ratio and processing conditions are optimized. Such conditions are generally obtained in industrial and municipal composting plants. Under these conditions, compostable plastics disintegrate and biodegrade at rates comparable to yard trimmings, kraft paper bags and food scraps.
NOTE 2 “Compostable” or “compostable in municipal and industrial composting facilities” are expressions considered to be equivalent to organically recyclable for the purposes of this document.