Biodegradable plastics

The property of biodegradability does not depend on the resource basis of a material. This feature is directly linked to the chemical structure of the polymer and can benefit particular applications, in particular packaging. Biodegradable plastic types offer new ways of recovery and recycling (organic recycling). If certified compostable according to international standards such as the EN 13432 (preferably by an independent third party), these plastics can be composted in industrial composting plants.

It is misleading to merely claim biodegradability without any standard specification. If a material or product is advertised to be biodegradable, further information about the timeframe, the level of biodegradation, and the required surrounding conditions should be provided, too.

Wherever possible, European Bioplastics recommends to focus on the more specific claim of compostability, and to back it up with corresponding standard references (ISO 17088, EN 13432 / 14995 or ASTM 6400 or 6868), a certification, and an according label (Seedling label via TÜV AUSTRIA Belgium or DIN CERTCO, OK compost label via TÜV AUSTRIA Belgium).