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Questions relating to Composting

Helpful Information, Product Information, Uncategorised

Composting and Microplastic Pollution

  • It’s now well recognised that plastic glitter poses an environmental microplastic pollution issue.
  • ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) has specified* freshwater biodegradability as a permitted test to establish whether a polymeric material is considered a microplastic.
  • Fresh water biodegradability requires a significantly higher level of performance than composting.

At Ronald Britton, we believe that making references to composting performance when environmental microplastic pollution is the real issue afoot can be misleading.

Bioglitter™ is designed to biodegrade quickly and safely in natural freshwater environments. Ronald Britton Ltd uses TÜV OK biodegradable WATER certification as a simple and clear means of communicating this fact to our customers.

In relation to composting, TÜV offer a Home Composting Certification programme, this is considered the next level up in composting performance to Industrial Composting standards such as EN13432 or ASTMD6400. The TÜV OK compost HOME certification requirements states in Section 7.2.1 – “A product or basic material fulfilling the requirements of biodegradation of the OK biodegradable SOIL mark or the OK biodegradable WATER is regarded as fulfilling the requirements of biodegradation of the OK compost HOME mark.”

Therefore, our products that are TÜV OK biodegradable WATER certified also meet the biodegradability requirement of TÜV OK compost HOME. However, as highlighted above, composting certification alone is not high enough in performance in terms of environmental microplastic pollution.

We believe OK biodegradable WATER certification cuts through the confusion. Moreover, the ISO 14851 and ISO 14852 biodegradability tests at the heart of this certification are also specified by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in its proposed EU Microplastic legislation* due to be published in 2022. These tests are used to determine whether a polymeric material is considered a microplastic.

*Annex XV Restriction Report – Proposal For A Restriction – Intentionally added microplastics

Key Points:

  • Bioglitter™ biodegrades quickly and safely in the natural environment
  • OK biodegradable WATER is a level of certification considered the highest of its kind in the world
  • Certification cuts through confusing messages around plastic content and biodegradability
  • Biodegradable doesn’t mean an excuse to litter, we do not encourage indiscriminate use of glitter outdoors