What tests validate biodegradation of plastics in a landfill?
Which ASTM biodegradable testing standards have verified the performance of ENSO enhanced plastics?
Can ENSO material be used for food contact applications?
Are plastics enhanced with ENSO recyclable?
Determining the performance of biodegradable plastics in landfill environments is conducted in laboratories using standardized tests that simulate landfill conditions.The primary tests for landfill biodegradation are the ASTM D5511 and ASTM D5526.
The ASTM D 5511 test is a short term test to provide indication of the biodegradability of plastic materials in a high solid anaerobic environment. This is a great test to quickly determine if materials can biodegrade, but does not provide realistic waste conditions and real life scenarios.
The ASTM D 5526 is a long term test to simulate a landfill environment and provides realistic results of what to expect in real life situations. This is the primary test that biodegradation time frames should be based on.
It is important to understand the limitations of each test and to avoid comparing results from different tests. For instance, a material that was tested using ASTM D 5511 showed full biodegradation occurring within 250 days, whereas the same material tested using ASTM D 5526 showed upwards of 5 years for full biodegradation. This is simply due to the environment of the test and not the overall performance of the material.
ENSO is actively developing new test standards and specifications to help expand inducstry, consumer and regulatory understanding of landiflll biodegradable plastics.
* The ASTM D 6400 is used to determine the ability of a plastic material to degrade within a specific commercial compost environment. It is not a validation that the plastic will biodegrade in any other environment including: home composting, all industrial compost facilities or other waste environments including landfills. It also does not validate nor guarantee that commercial composting facilities will accept this plastic waste.
|Which ASTM biodegradable testing standards have verified the performance of ENSO enhanced plastics?
ENSO accelerates the biodegradation of plastics in landfills and anaerobic digesters as validated by independent certified laboratories using ASTM International test methods (ASTM D5526 & ASTM D5511).
Independent 3rd party testing has shown up to 24.7% biodegradation within 160 days in optimized conditions. Actual rate of biodegradation will vary dependent upon environmental conditions and the biological activity of microorganisms surrounding the plastic.
The customary disposal method of plastics is either recycling or landfill disposable, therfore the most applicable test methods would be for anaerobic (landfill) conditions. We test ENSO enhanced plastics under the scrutiny of the ASTM D5511 and ASTM D5526 which are standard test methods for determining anaerobic biodegradation of plastic materials.
Yes, ENSO provides materials which are compliant for food contact applications under both FDA CFR title 21Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) and EU food contact regulations.
Yes. Using ENSO does not impact the recyclability of your plastic product. Research performed by Internationally recognized polymer experts at Georgia Technical Research Institute (GTRI) regarding the recyclability of organic additives has shown the materials are inert and would not impact the recycle stream.
In addition to the above research, since there is no recognized standard for recyclabiility of biodegradable plastics, ENSO has completed the following tests regarding recyclability. These are international standard tests used to determine the quality of the specific types of plastics that would enter the recycle stream.
- Haze and Transmission via ASTM D 1003B
- Intrinsic Viscosity via ASTM D 4603
- Acetaldehyde via ASTM F 2013
- Fluorescence Visual
- Visual Black Specks and Gels
ENSO Plastics continues to work with recyclers and industry organizations to inform the industry about the technology and to support solutions which benefit the recycling industry as a whole. We are also working with several agencies to create a certification program for the recyclability of biodegradable plastics.