Alert: Packaging World now enhanced for the iPad and iPhone. Watch a quick video preview
Article |

Defining biodegradable and compostable (sidebar)

Confusion and misconceptions about what biodegradable and compostable mean have been replaced the past few years by scientific testing and standards of identity.
Print Reprint
     

Approved by the Biodegradable Products Institute Biota bottles are commercially compostable meaning they disintegrate in 75-80 days under the proper conditions that provide high heat (120° to 140°F) microorganisms and moisture. The bottles will decompose into water carbon dioxide and organic material. These bottles will not degrade quickly in a backyard compost operation as those are not maintained at the high temperatures as commercial composting operations. Estimates are that it would take 1 years or more for a conventional petroleum-based PET beverage bottle to break down.

At the BPI Web site Biota bottles are listed as “approved products- foodservice items” apparently as a best-fit category for the breakthrough innovation. To meet BPI standards approved products must meet stringent scientifically based specifications specifically ASTM D6400-99 or ASTM D6868-03.

According to the site “The test methods and specifications found in ASTM D6400-99 mimic what takes place in well-run municipal or commercial composting facilities. These tests were developed after eight years of intensive work conducted at the request of the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).” The work identified two key criteria for materials and products to be compostable:

• They must biodegrade at a rate comparable to yard trimmings food scraps and other compostable materials such as kraft paper bags.

• They must disintegrate so that no large plastic fragments remain to be screened out.

See the story that goes with this sidebar: BIOTA’s high-water mark in sustainable packaging

Comments(0)

Add new comment

ADVERTISEMENT
E-BOOK SPECIAL REPORT
42 Best Package Designs
Sign up to receive timely updates from our editors and download this e-book consisting of our editors' picks of most notable package designs. Updated for 2014!
x

 

Newsletters
Don’t miss intelligence crucial to your job and business!
Click on any newsletter to view a sample. Enter your email address below to sign up!
GENERAL INTEREST

New Issue Alert

Packaging World Magazine

eClip

Breaking packaging news

Packaging Insights

Pertinent packaging issues

On the Edge Blog

Workforce Development

PACKAGE DESIGN/
DEVELOPMENT

Greener Package

Sustainable packaging

Shelf Impact

Package design strategies

Each newsletter ranges in frequency from once per month to a few times per month at most.