I’m skeptical of “green” companies’ claims until the right data comes out. Lab-scale and pilot-scale data are important (along with examination of waste products),  as well as other data such as standards verifications.

The company, Cereplast, is soliciting investors and advertises a number of products, including Cereplast Compostables® Resins, which the company states

are certified as biodegradable and compostable in the United States and Europe, meeting BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute) standards for compostability (ASTM 6400 D99 and ASTM 6868), and European Bioplastics standards (EN 13432).

I’m still looking at the others, but the European EN 13432 standard, Proof of Compostability of Plastic Products, appears to be on-target, and includes the following scope of testing

  • Chemical test: Disclosure of all constituents, threshold values for heavy metals are to be adhered to.
  • Biodegradability in watery medium (oxygen consumption and production of CO2): Proof must be made that at least 90% of the organic material is converted into CO2 within 6 months.
  • Disintegration in compost: After 3 months’ composting and subsequent sifting through a 2 mm sieve, no more than 10% residue may remain, as compared to the original mass.
  • Practical test of compostability in a semi-industrial (or industrial) composting facility: No negative influence on the composting process is permitted.
  • Compost application: Examination of the effect of resultant compost on plant growth(agronomic test), ecotoxicity test.

But I don’t find any lab test reports for running EN 13432 on Cereplast’s products. I’ve got a message into them, asking about obtaining this information. I hope they do have it and that they do make it available. Maybe I’ll even get to interview their CEO, once they see this post. We’ll see.