Biodegradability & Compostability
Disintegration should progress to a point that no bioplastic is visible. European studies show that plastic levels as low as 0.1% weight are objectionable, in contrast to traditional industry rules of 1% or higher.
Industrial vs. Other Composting: In Nature, biodegradability is not essentially temperature limited in the rate of reactions over a broad range of 5 – 70C. Extreme high heat composting (such as found with in-vessel systems) may even inactivate cellulase enzymes and therefore restrict degradation of even regular paper (resulting in a new artifact and a new standard for it called “extreme high heat” compostability). These are artifacts of industrialization of biological properties.
New advancements in bioplastics are taking place, including polyesters such as PVA and PVOH’s which may degrade well in a broader range of temperatures. New forms of PLA are recognized that do not possess the limiting thermal-transition (Tg) factor. Unfortunately, in the foreseeable future, any bioplastic may be seen as foreign matter contaminate in composting.
Woods End Laboratory possesses skilled awareness of this “work-in-progress” for achieving high-quality scientific validation of biodegradable products at temperatures other than accepted industrial norms.
Strength of Satisfied Clients: Woods End’s clients in biodegradability testing include: DuPont, FritoLay, KraftFoods, Natureworks, DowAgroSciences, Novamont, Pepsico, Boise, Nordenia, Huhtamaki, Toray, US Army Environmental Center, Weetabix — and many more.
The Woods End Bio Standard: As of 2017 Woods End has completed work with several clients crafting a new compostability test process using ambient environments of know soil and compost type. This will require that a candidate-compound for compostability validation pass test of at least 2 conditions.
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