Manufacturing Sustainability: Green Manufacturing News

NSF International Expands Compostability Testing to Verify Biodegradable Product Claims

posted by Wendy Stott
Published: April 22, 2011

NSF International, an independent organization committed to protecting public health and the environment, has expanded its biodegradable/compostable testing services for plastic products and resins. Verifying a product’s compliance with biodegradability standards is becoming increasingly important as more companies strive to improve their environmental performance.
Concerns associated with the waste stream resulting from plastic packaging, cutlery, cups, and the like have led to an increase in the number of products made from biodegradable or compostable plastic -- products which can carry the claim “compostable.”
Companies seeking to verify their compostability claims can rely on NSF International to substantiate biodegradation, disintegration and eco-toxicity of their products. NSF International is accredited by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) to test and verify a product’s compostability against American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) methods. All biodegradable product testing is conducted in NSF International’s in-house compostability lab, which is ISO 17025 accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) for ASTM methods:
  • ASTM D6400 - Standard Specification for Compostable Plastics
  • ASTM D6868 - Standard Specification for Biodegradable Plastics Used as Coatings on Paper and Other Compostable Substrates
  • ASTM D5338 - Standard Test Method for Determining Aerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under Controlled Composting Conditions
  • ASTM D5511 - Standard Test Method for Determining Anaerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under High-Solids Anaerobic-Digestion Conditions
“The marketplace is increasingly focused on developing and purchasing products that minimize environmental impact and improve sustainability,” said Tom Bruursema, General Manager for NSF’s Environmental and Research Services. “NSF’s expanded testing services provide product manufacturers the ability to make credible, third-party verified claims of compostability.”
For additional information about compostability testing, visit NSF’s compostability webpage, email or call 800-673-6275.