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.
Frequently asked questions
Compostable materials are designed to be composted and unfortunately that means they cannot be mechanically recycled. Although commercial composting systems are not currently widely available on a kerbside basis this is changing rapidly and so too is the rate of home composting. For further reading please see our blog post on Composting vs Recycling.
This is a great question and the answer is nuanced. They don't contain plastic as most people know it but they are made from bioplastic, which is technically a type of plastic. Grounded has a range of bioplastics that are made using our compostable Plantcell™ technology or our recyclable Sugarflex™ films and laminates.