Legal Regulations

1. How are bioplastics labelled?

2. What standards are there for bioplastics?

3. What does certification EN 13432 mean?

4. May the known bio logo be printed on bio films?

 

1. How are bioplastics labelled?

Compostable bioplastics are allowed to have the „seedling“ printed on after having been successfully certified according to EN 13432. The known bio logo is something different since it is only used for food stuffs. In Great Britain and the Benelux countries the compostable films are labelled with the  "OK COMPOST" logo.

2. What standards are there for bioplastics?

The EU created the standard EN 13432 valid throughout Europe which confirms the compostability of bioplastics. International standardisation institutes such as the International Standards Organisation (ISO) have already accepted the standard and have planned to adopt this approved check scheme. A standard or a certification for products derived from renewable raw materials currently does not exist.
Bioplastics which comply with the standard EN 13432 are allowed to have the „seedling“  printed on in Germany and many other countries of the EU. In Benelux countries the signet „OK COMPOST“ prevailed.
The standards ISO 17088 and ASTM D-6400 describe the same check scheme as EN 13432. The ISO-Standard not only refers to plastic packagings but to plastics in general.

Furthermore, there is a group of certified eco-labels, defined by the ISO standards 14024 (type I), 14021 (type II) and ISO 14025 (type III). This for example enables the manufacturers to develop/(create/design) a logo by themselves (type 2, declaration by themselves) or to proof the environmental compatibility of their products by a life cycle assessment (type 3). The certification by a third party, however, is only requested with type I. So, the statements of the eco-labels should always be scrutinised. 

3. What does certification EN 13432 mean?

The certification EN 13432 confirms the compostability of his bioplastics in industrial composting systems to the manufacturer. The certification includes the chemical analysis of the film and a test for heavy metals. Series of tests follow under lab conditions as well as a test of the decay of the films in commercial composting systems. During the lab tests 90% of the films have to decompose into pieces not larger than 2 millimetres after 180 days, in practise tests after 90 days.

4. May the known bio logo be printed on bio films?

No. The bio logo according to the EC-ECO regulation is an emblem which only is to be used for food biologically produced in the agricultural and farming sector (EEC regulation no 2092/91). However, compostable films get the “seedling” logo after a successful certification (EN 13432). For a certification according to EN 13432 the renewable raw materials of the bioplastics do not have to conform to the regulations of the bio logo. These two certificates have nothing in common.