In Australia and New Zealand, for a plastic to be certified as home compostable, it must comply with the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) standard AS 5810. Although a home composting system is very different to that of an industrial facility, the core requirements for the certification remain the same. The major difference being the temperature and time in which it takes to biodegrade are longer under home composting protocol. The temperature for testing is between 20-30°C (slightly above ambient) and a material or product must completely biodegrade within 12 months.
In order to comply with the AS 5810, bioplastic materials need to meet the following requirements: - Minimum of 90% biodegradation of bioplastic materials within 12 months in compost. - Minimum of 90% of bioplastic materials should disintegrate into less than 2mm pieces in compost within 6 months. - No toxic effect of the resulting compost on plants and earthworms. - Hazardous substances such as heavy metals should not be present above the maximum allowed levels. - Plastic materials should contain more than 50 percent organic materials.
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