Home BIODEGRADABILITY COMPOSTABILITY CERTIFICATE
by German Torregrosa

CERTIFICATE
BIODEGRADABILITY AND COMPOSTABILITY
BY AITEX

AITEX’S CERTIFICATES OF BIODEGRADABILITY AND COMPOSTABILITY

CERTIFICATE OF BIODEGRADABILITY

The certificate of biodegradability issued by AITEX guarantees that a product, container or material is biodegradable in a given medium; terrestrial (soil) aqueous (salt or fresh water) or industrial compost (regulated or domestic landfills).

The certification process subjects a product, packaging or material of any type to different testing standards in order to determine its degree of biodegradability.

BIODEGRADABILIDAD BY AITEX
COMPOSTABILIDAD BY AITEX

CERTIFICATE OF COMPOSTABILITY

The compostability certificate issued by AITEX guarantees that a product, packaging or material is biodegradable in a composting environment and that the end product is suitable for use as compost.

The certification process subjects a product, packaging or material to a series of specific test standards that evaluate its toxicity, biodegradability and compostability. This ensures a second use for the product, extending its life cycle, as it can be subsequently used as compost.

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HOW TO OBTAIN A CERTIFICATE OF BIODEGRADABILITY OR COMPOSTABILITY

Before determining the biodegradability or compostability of a material, packaging or product, the degree of degradation and toxicity of all its components must be assessed. The evolution of these techniques has created multiple testing standards to provide the appropriate tools to ensure the sustainable contribution of the product.

AITEX has based its two certifications on existing regulations, the law on waste and contaminated soils for a circular economy and our long and proven experience in the development of sustainable processes which evaluate the standards of disintegration, biodegradability and toxicity. This performance is then displayed on a label attached to a product once the evaluation controls have been passed.

WHAT CRITERIA ARE ANALYSED TO OBTAIN THE CERTIFICATE OF BIODEGRADABILITY OR COMPOSTABILITY?

Depending on the interest in obtaining the biodegradability certificate or the compostability certificate, there are different evaluation processes by which the product, container or material analyzed must be evaluated. The phases in each case are detailed below.

biodegradabilidad

CERTIFICATE OF BIODEGRADABILITY

> Sample characterisation and identification of initial total organic carbon and heavy metal toxicity analysis.
> Measurement of aerobic biodegradability in a controlled composting process.
> Issuance of certificate.

 
 
 

CERTIFICATE OF COMPOSTABILITY

Sample characterisation and identification of initial total organic carbon and heavy metal toxicity analysis.
> Measuring aerobic biodegradability in a controlled composting process.
> Compostability simulation process analysing the disintegration of the material according to its typology.
> Final ecotoxicity of the material after the composting process, evaluation of the quality of the compost obtained.
> Issuance of certificate.

BIODEGRADABLE
AND COMPOSTABLE
PRODUCTS
SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
BIODEGRADABILITY AND COMPOSTABILITY

A material is biodegradable when it can decompose into its constituent chemical elements as a result of the action of biological agents, such as micro-organisms, animals or plants. This decomposition process is always accompanied by other physical agents such as environmental conditions: sun, water, temperature and humidity that favour these mechanisms.

Ensayo biodegradabilidad AITEX

Therefore, the biodegradation of a material will differ depending on where the material ends up when it is disposed of: soil (landfill), water (salt or fresh water), landfill (regulated or domestic) or sewage treatment plants (activated sludge). It is a natural process in which all the elements that make up the material are returned to the environment.

On the other hand, a material is compostable when it can be degraded by the action of micro-organisms into carbon dioxide, water and biomass, i.e. compost. The ultimate goal is to achieve a compost or compostable compound. A compostable material will be biodegradable, but not all biodegradable materials will be compostable: this will depend on the quality of the compost or medium in which it degrades.

WHAT TYPES OF PRODUCTS CAN OBTAIN THE AITEX CERTIFICATE OF BIODEGRADABILITY OR COMPOSTABILITY?

Any product, packaging or material, regardless of its type, that complies with the standards established for this purpose. In some sectors such as fashion, sportswear, hygiene, health, cosmetics, packaging or consumer products, it is increasingly common to include one of these certifications in the labelling, as it is much more relevant and decisive in the consumer’s purchasing decision.

ADVANTAGES OFFERED BY THE CERTIFICATES OF BIODEGRADABILITY AND OMPOSTABILITY

> Improving product life cycle while respecting the environment
> Elimination of final waste and reduction of carbon footprint
> Most in demand and competitive products on the market

According to the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN for 2030, whose mission is to achieve a better and more sustainable future, more and more companies are committed to manufacturing and using biodegradable and compostable materials that increase the life cycle of a product while respecting the environment. Similarly, more and more end consumers are looking for products or packaging that are more environmentally friendly.