Looking for ISO 17088:2021 Plastics-Organic recycling?

ISO 17088:2021 Plastics-Organic recycling

ISO 17088:2021 Plastics-Organic recycling

What is ISO 17088:2021 Plastics-Organic recycling -Specifications for compostable plastics?

ISO 17088:2021 Plastics-Organic recycling standard pertains to plastics and sets forth specifications for those that are compostable. This standard aims to provide a framework for evaluating the compostability of plastics, particularly when subjected to industrial composting conditions.

The standard also specifies criteria for the materials, products, and packaging made from plastics that are designed to be composted in industrial composting facilities. It outlines the essential characteristics that such products should possess, such as the rate of biodegradation, disintegration during composting, and the absence of negative effects on the composting process or the quality of the finished compost. It also provides methods for testing and certifying these attributes.

Furthermore, these specifications are significant because they help industries and consumers make informed choices concerning the environmental impact of plastic products. It aids in ensuring that compostable plastics will not harm compost quality or the composting process itself. By providing clear criteria, ISO 17088:2021 supports the development and adoption of environmentally responsible products, thereby aiding in waste management and promoting circular economy initiatives.

In summary, this standard is particularly useful for manufacturers, regulators, and certifiers, providing them with a comprehensive guide to assess the compostability of plastic materials, products, and packaging. While Pacific Certifications primarily focuses on management system and product certifications like ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, ISO 27001, CE, HACCP, and GMP, understanding related standards like ISO 17088:2021 can be beneficial in the broader context of environmental management and product sustainability.

What are the requirements for ISO 17088:2021?

The ISO 17088:2021 standard lays out a comprehensive set of requirements to determine whether a plastic material or product can be classified as compostable in industrial composting facilities.

Below are the key requirements:


The standard stipulates that the plastic material must be biodegradable, meaning it should break down into water, carbon dioxide, and biomass under composting conditions. The material should achieve a specified level of biodegradation within a certain time frame, generally assessed using standardized test methods.


Disintegration refers to the material’s ability to physically break down into smaller fragments during the composting process. The standard provides test methods to ensure that the material adequately disintegrates within a set timeframe without leaving any visible or harmful residues.


The plastic material should not produce any toxic material that could negatively affect the compost or the organisms in the composting process. Tests are conducted to confirm that the compost produced from the compostable material is not ecotoxic and meets quality standards for compost.

Heavy Metals and Additives

The standard outlines limits on the content of heavy metals and other potentially hazardous substances in the compostable plastic. Any additives used in the plastic, like plasticizers or colorants, must also meet specified requirements for compostability and should not impede the biodegradation process.

Labeling and Identification

Proper labeling is essential for distinguishing compostable plastics from non-compostable ones. The standard may outline requirements for labeling to ensure that compostable plastics are easily identifiable and appropriately sorted for composting.

Quality of the Final Compost

The compost produced from the compostable plastic material should meet acceptable standards in terms of quality and safety, without any negative impact on the composting process or the quality of the final compost.

Overall, these requirements are enforced through a range of laboratory tests, often carried out by accredited institutions, to ensure that the plastic material or product meets the criteria for industrial compostability. Compliance with the ISO 17088:2021 standard allows manufacturers to label their products as compostable under industrial composting conditions, thus providing consumers and waste management facilities with valuable information on how to properly dispose of these materials.

Therefore, understanding the requirements of ISO 17088:2021 can be valuable for organizations interested in environmental sustainability and responsible waste management. It offers a framework for manufacturers to design products that align with circular economy objectives, thereby potentially reducing environmental impact.

What are the benefits of ISO 17088:2021 Plastics-Organic recycling?

The ISO 17088:2021 standard offers a range of benefits to various stakeholders, from manufacturers and regulators to consumers and waste management facilities. Below are some of the key advantages:

Environmental Benefits

  • Reduced Waste in Landfills: By promoting compostable plastics, the standard helps in diverting organic waste from landfills, reducing the overall waste volume.
  • Lower Carbon Footprint: Composting is generally more carbon-efficient compared to other waste management practices like incineration or landfilling.
  • Resource Recovery: Compostable plastics can be turned into valuable compost, contributing to the circular economy by transforming waste into a useful product.
Regulatory and Compliance Benefits
  • Standardized Criteria: The standard provides a uniform set of criteria for determining compostability, making it easier for regulatory agencies to enforce guidelines.
  • International Recognition: ISO standards are internationally recognized, allowing for easier cross-border trade of certified compostable products.
  • Aids in Legislation: Regulatory bodies can refer to ISO 17088:2021 when formulating policies around waste management and materials recovery.

Consumer Benefits

  • Informed Choices: Consumers can make eco-friendly purchasing decisions based on the compostability certification, as it assures that the product will degrade in an industrial composting facility.
  • Promotes Sustainability: It encourages a shift in consumer behavior towards more sustainable practices like composting.

Manufacturer and Industry Benefits

  • Market Differentiation: Companies can gain a competitive advantage by offering certified compostable products, which can be a strong selling point.
  • Innovation: The need to meet ISO 17088:2021 criteria can spur R&D efforts to develop new, more sustainable materials.
  • Risk Mitigation: Compliance with the standard can reduce the risk of regulatory action or consumer backlash against non-sustainable products.

Waste Management Benefits

  • Streamlined Sorting: Properly labeled compostable plastics make it easier for waste management facilities to sort waste, optimizing the recycling and composting processes.
  • Improved Compost Quality: The standard ensures that compostable plastics will not negatively impact the quality of the resulting compost or the composting process itself.

In summary, understanding the benefits of ISO 17088:2021 is particularly valuable for organizations and certification bodies that focus on environmental sustainability and responsible waste management. By adopting or promoting products that comply with this standard, stakeholders can contribute meaningfully to environmental conservation efforts and the broader sustainability agenda.

Who needs ISO 17088:2021 Plastics-Organic recycling?

The ISO 17088:2021 standard is relevant to a wide range of stakeholders involved in the lifecycle of plastics, from production to disposal. Here is a breakdown of entities who may find the standard pertinent:


  • Plastic Producers: Companies producing raw plastic materials can use the standard to develop compostable plastics that meet industrial composting requirements.
  • Product Manufacturers: Firms that create plastic-based products, like packaging, cutlery, or agricultural films, can benefit from certifying their products as compostable based on ISO 17088:2021.
  • Additive Manufacturers: Those producing additives such as plasticizers or colorants for plastic products can also refer to the standard to ensure their additives are compatible with compostable plastics.
Regulatory Bodies and Policymakers
  • Environmental Agencies: Regulatory bodies overseeing environmental protection and waste management may use this standard as a basis for creating legislation or guidelines.
  • Trade Organizations: National and international trade bodies may refer to this standard when setting industry best practices or import/export criteria for compostable plastics.

Certification Bodies

  • Accreditation Organizations: Certification agencies can employ ISO 17088:2021 as a benchmark for assessing and validating the compostability of plastic products.
  • Testing Laboratories: Labs conducting tests for compostability can use the standard’s guidelines to develop or refine their testing methods.
  • General Public: Individuals looking to make more sustainable choices can rely on products certified based on this standard as genuinely compostable in industrial facilities.
  • Business Consumers: Organizations, especially those with a strong focus on sustainability, may prefer to procure products that are certified as compostable, aligning with their corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals.

Waste Management Facilities

  • Industrial Composting Facilities: Operations specializing in industrial-scale composting can use the standard to determine which plastics are suitable for their processes.
  • Recycling Centers: These facilities can benefit from the standard by properly sorting compostable plastics from non-compostable ones, optimizing waste management processes.
Retailers and Distributors
  • Retail Businesses: Stores selling plastic goods can offer certified compostable products to meet consumer demand for more sustainable options.
  • Distributors: Those involved in the supply chain can also benefit by aligning themselves with sustainable and certified products, thereby attracting businesses focused on sustainability.

In summary, ISO 17088:2021 serves as a crucial reference point for various stakeholders in the plastics and waste management industries. It is particularly beneficial for those involved in environmental management and sustainability, as it provides a framework for the responsible production, use, and disposal of plastics.

At last, Pacific Certifications is accredited by ABIS, you need more support with ISO 17088:2021 Plastics-Organic recycling, please contact us at +91-8595603096 or support@pacificcert.com

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