Compostability is a characteristic of a product that enables biodegradation under specific conditions (i.e. a certain temperature, timeframe, etc.). At the end of this process, for example in an industrial composting plant, only natural products remain (water, carbon, biomass).
Currently, the distinction is made between industrial and home composting.
The specific criteria for industrial compostability of packaging materials, such as the environment, temperature, and timeframe, have been defined in EN 13432 (or equivalent ASTM 6400). Materials and products complying with this standard can be certified and subsequently labelled accordingly with the Seedling label. There is currently no European standard for home composting. Yet, national regulations, standards, or certification programmes do exist in Italy (UNI 11183), Belgium (Vinçotte, OK compost home label) and the United Kingdom.