This specification covers bioplastic films, containers, and products made from organic materials that are designed to be composted in municipal and industrial aerobic composting facilities.

ASTM has three main provisions:

  1. Product must entirely physically disintegrate into the soil. With no distinguishable traces left. Finished compost containing a compostable plastic must pass through a 2 mm screen to be considered acceptable.
  2. Composted bioplastics cannot contain any heavy metals and finished compost must support plant life
  3. The product must be bio-assimilated by microorganisms (biodegradation) found in water, soil, etc. at the same rate that leaves, paper and other organic materials biodegrade in their natural environment. 180 days or less. Within a six month timeframe.

This specification is intended to establish the requirements for labeling of materials and products, including packaging made from bio-based resources, as “compostable in municipal and industrial composting facilities.”

Further, the properties in the specification are required to assure that the degradation of these materials will not diminish the value or utility of the compost resulting from the composting process.

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