What is ISO 14855-2:2018-Determination of the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials under controlled composting conditions-Method by analysis of evolved carbon dioxide-Gravimetric measurement of carbon dioxide evolved in a laboratory-scale test?
ISO 14855-2:2018-Aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials is a standard that specifies a method for determining the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials under controlled composting conditions through the measurement of evolved carbon dioxide. This standard is part of a series of standards developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to assess the biodegradability of plastics.
Here’s a breakdown of the key components of ISO 14855-2:2018:
- Title: Determination of the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials under controlled composting conditions — Method by analysis of evolved carbon dioxide — Part 2: Gravimetric measurement of carbon dioxide evolved in a laboratory-scale test.
- Scope: This standard provides guidelines for assessing the biodegradability of plastic materials in a controlled composting environment. It focuses on measuring the carbon dioxide (CO2) evolved during the biodegradation process.
- Method: The method described in ISO 14855-2 involves subjecting plastic materials to controlled composting conditions in a laboratory-scale test. During this test, the evolved carbon dioxide is measured using a gravimetric technique, which means that the carbon dioxide is captured and weighed as it is produced during the biodegradation of the plastic material.
- Ultimate Aerobic Biodegradability: The term “ultimate aerobic biodegradability” refers to the ability of a plastic material to undergo complete biodegradation in the presence of oxygen (aerobic conditions) over time. In this context, biodegradation means the breakdown of the plastic into simpler, environmentally benign substances, such as water, carbon dioxide, and biomass, by microorganisms present in a composting environment.
- Controlled Composting Conditions: The standard specifies the conditions under which the composting test should be conducted, including temperature, humidity, and the composition of the composting medium. These conditions are designed to simulate a real-world composting environment.
- Gravimetric Measurement: The measurement of evolved carbon dioxide is performed using a gravimetric technique, which involves collecting the carbon dioxide as it is released during the biodegradation process and measuring its weight. This measurement provides a quantitative assessment of the biodegradability of the plastic material.
- Laboratory-Scale Test: ISO 14855-2 outlines procedures for conducting the test on a laboratory scale. This allows for controlled and repeatable conditions, making it easier to compare the biodegradability of different plastic materials.
In summary, ISO 14855-2:2018 is a standard that specifies a laboratory-based method for assessing the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials in a controlled composting environment by measuring the carbon dioxide evolved during the biodegradation process. This standard is part of a series of standards aimed at evaluating the environmental impact of plastics and their potential to biodegrade in composting facilities.
Requirements of ISO 14855-2:2018-Aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials
ISO 14855-2:2018-Aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials specifies the requirements for conducting a gravimetric measurement of carbon dioxide (CO2) evolved during a laboratory-scale test to determine the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials under controlled composting conditions.
Here are the key requirements outlined in this standard:
- Test Specimens: The standard specifies the size and preparation of test specimens made from the plastic material being evaluated. These specimens should be representative of the material being tested.
- Composting Conditions: The test should be conducted under controlled composting conditions, including temperature, humidity, and the composition of the composting medium. The standard provides details on the specific conditions that should be maintained during the test.
- Test Duration: The standard specifies the minimum test duration, which is typically 6 months. This duration is chosen to simulate the conditions of a real-world composting process, where plastic materials need to biodegrade over an extended period.
- Control and Monitoring: The test should be conducted under strict control and monitoring to ensure that the composting conditions remain within the specified range throughout the test period. This includes maintaining temperature, humidity, and other relevant factors.
- Biodegradation Assessment: The primary assessment is based on the measurement of carbon dioxide evolved during the test. The standard provides detailed instructions on how to collect and measure the evolved CO2 using gravimetric methods.
- Calculation of Biodegradation: The standard outlines the calculation procedure to determine the biodegradability of the plastic material based on the CO2 measurements. This calculation is essential for quantifying the extent of biodegradation.
- Documentation and Reporting: The standard specifies the information that should be documented and included in the test report. This includes details about the test conditions, the plastic material being tested, the CO2 measurements, and the calculated biodegradation results.
- Validation of Test Results: To ensure the reliability of the results, the standard recommends conducting validation tests with reference materials of known biodegradability. This helps verify that the test method is working correctly.
- Accuracy and Precision: The standard provides guidance on the accuracy and precision of the measurements and calculations to ensure that the results are reliable and reproducible.
- Interpretation of Results: ISO 14855-2:2018 does not specify specific pass/fail criteria for biodegradability but provides a methodology for assessing the extent of biodegradation. The interpretation of results and any conclusions about the biodegradability of the plastic material are typically made by comparing the measured data with established criteria or standards relevant to the specific application.
ISO standards are designed to ensure consistency and repeatability in testing procedures. Manufacturers, regulators, and other stakeholders use these standards to assess the biodegradability of plastic materials in a standardized and reliable manner, helping to evaluate their environmental impact.
Benefits of ISO 14855-2:2018
ISO 14855-2:2018-Aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials focuses on the determination of the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials under controlled composting conditions by analyzing evolved carbon dioxide through gravimetric measurement, offers several benefits:
- Environmental Impact Assessment: The standard provides a systematic and standardized method for assessing the biodegradability of plastic materials. This is essential for evaluating the environmental impact of plastics and understanding how they break down in composting environments.
- Comparative Testing: Manufacturers, regulators, and consumers can use ISO 14855-2 to compare the biodegradability of different plastic materials. This helps in making informed choices about which materials to use in various applications, considering their environmental consequences.
- Quality Control: Manufacturers of plastic products can use this standard to assess the biodegradability of their materials and products. It allows them to ensure that their products meet specific biodegradability criteria and environmental standards.
- Regulatory Compliance: Compliance with ISO 14855-2 can help manufacturers demonstrate that their plastic products meet regulatory requirements related to environmental performance and biodegradability. This is particularly relevant in regions where regulations exist to encourage or mandate biodegradability.
- Research and Development: Researchers can use this standard to evaluate the biodegradability of new plastic formulations. It aids in the development of more environmentally friendly materials and technologies.
- Consumer Confidence: Products that adhere to established biodegradability standards can provide consumers with greater confidence that they are making environmentally responsible choices. This can be especially important in consumer-facing industries like packaging.
- Reduced Environmental Impact: By testing plastic materials for biodegradability, ISO 14855-2 encourages the development and use of plastics that break down more readily in composting environments. This can help reduce the persistence of plastic waste in landfills and natural environments.
- Standardization: ISO standards are internationally popular. The use of ISO 14855-2 provides a common framework for assessing biodegradability, making it easier for organizations and governments worldwide to communicate and collaborate on environmental initiatives.
- Informed Decision-Making: ISO 14855-2 allows stakeholders to make informed decisions about the suitability of plastic materials for specific applications. For example, it can help determine whether a plastic material is suitable for use in compostable bags, food packaging, or other products where biodegradability is a desirable trait.
- Environmental Responsibility: The standard promotes environmental responsibility and sustainable practices in the plastics industry. It encourages the development and use of plastics that have a reduced impact on the environment, contributing to sustainability goals.
Overall, ISO 14855-2 plays a crucial role in advancing the understanding and measurement of plastic biodegradability, contributing to more sustainable practices and products in the plastics industry and reducing the environmental footprint of plastic materials.
Who needs ISO 14855-2:2018-Determination of the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials under controlled composting conditions
ISO 14855-2:2018 is primarily relevant to several stakeholders who are involved in the assessment, production, regulation, or use of plastic materials, especially those interested in understanding the biodegradability of plastic materials in controlled composting conditions.
Here are the key groups of people or organizations that can benefit from or need this standard:
- Manufacturers of Plastic Materials: Companies that produce plastic materials, such as resin manufacturers, need ISO 14855-2 to assess and demonstrate the biodegradability of their products. This standard helps them develop more environmentally friendly materials and comply with environmental regulations.
- Manufacturers of Plastic Products: Manufacturers of plastic products, especially those marketed as compostable or biodegradable, can use ISO 14855-2 to ensure their products meet biodegradability criteria and to provide evidence of compliance to consumers and regulators.
- Regulatory Authorities: Government agencies and regulatory bodies may reference ISO 14855-2 in their regulations or standards related to plastics and environmental impact. It helps them establish biodegradability criteria and evaluate compliance with these criteria.
- Environmental Organizations: Environmental organizations and NGOs concerned with plastic pollution and sustainability may use ISO 14855-2 to assess and advocate for the use of more environmentally friendly plastics.
- Research and Development (R&D) Departments: Organizations involved in R&D related to plastics and materials science use ISO 14855-2 to evaluate the biodegradability of new materials and to contribute to the development of sustainable materials.
- Product Development Teams: Companies developing compostable or biodegradable products, such as packaging, foodservice items, or agricultural films, rely on this standard to guide material selection and product design.
- Composting Facilities: Composting facilities and operators may reference ISO 14855-2 when accepting compostable plastics to ensure that these materials will break down effectively in their composting processes.
- Consumer Protection Agencies: Agencies responsible for protecting consumers’ interests may use ISO 14855-2 to verify claims made by manufacturers regarding the biodegradability of their products.
- Certification and Testing Laboratories: Laboratories specializing in materials testing and certification may use ISO 14855-2 as a reference standard when conducting tests to determine the biodegradability of plastic materials.
- Environmental Consultants: Professionals and firms offering environmental consulting services may use this standard when assessing the environmental impact of plastic materials and products for their clients.
- Consumers: Informed consumers who want to make environmentally responsible choices when purchasing products may look for products that adhere to ISO 14855-2 or similar standards as a mark of biodegradability.
Overall, ISO 14855-2:2018-Aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials plays a critical role in standardizing the assessment of plastic biodegradability in controlled composting conditions. Its adoption and use help ensure consistency and reliability in evaluating the environmental impact of plastic materials and products.