In case the product’s intended disposal route does not include industrial or home composting, other conditions need to be selected, representative for the environment in which the product will need to degrade after being disposed of.
In this context, different environments can be selected, including soil, fresh water, marine water, anaerobic digestion or landfill. OWS offers testing in all of these environments and can help in selecting the correct environment(s) together with the client.
It must be noted that the (bio)degradation of a product varies from one environment to another. In most cases it is the temperature and the microbial activity which determines the rate and level of (bio)degradation. Compost is considered as the most aggressive environment, while landfill is considered as the least aggressive environment. It is therefore not possible to extrapolate positive biodegradation results from one environment to another.
OWS offers the following (bio)degradation testing for the above discussed environments:
- Biodegradation in soil (ISO 17556, ISO 11266 and/or ASTM D5988)
- Biodegradation in fresh water (ISO 14851, ISO 9408, EN 29408, ASTM D 5271, OECD 301C, OECD 301F, OECD 302C and/or OECD 302F)
- Biodegradation in marine water (ISO 14851 and/or ASTM D 6691)
- High-solids anaerobic digestion (ISO 15985 and/or ASTM D 5511)
- Accelerated landfill test (ASTM D 5526)
Similar to industrial and home compostability, TÜV AUSTRIA Belgium has created a certification scheme and accompanying logo for products which biodegrade in respectively soil (OK Biodegradable Soil), fresh water (OK Biodegradable Water) and the marine environment (OK Biodegradable Marine). Certification for biodegradation in soil requires heavy metals, biodegradation (in soil) and plant toxicity testing, while certification for biodegradation in water only requires heavy metals and biodegradation (in water) testing. OWS can help in obtaining the necessary data for these certificates as well as offer guidance in preparing the dossier for certification.