Standardization News

Determining Packaging Compostability

A proposed ASTM standard will provide a test that determines whether single and multilayer coated packaging products will be compostable in industrial composting facilities.

The proposed standard (WK54915, Test Method for Determination of Aerobic Biodegradability of Single and Multilayer Coatings) is being developed by Committee D20 on Plastics.

ASTM member John Kokoszka, vice president, technical services/business development, Sustainable Fiber Solutions, says, “The new standard will be used to assure the compostability of the packaging. This would then be used by packagers to communicate to consumers that the packaging can be effectively composted by industrial facilities and should then be recycled where such facilities exist. Industrial composters would also be assured that this type of packaging would not have a negative impact on their composting facility.”

WK54915 will afford testing laboratories the opportunity to evaluate aerobic mineralization (or biodegradation) in compost of polymer coatings according to a standard test method.  This test method can then be incorporated into ASTM D6400 and D6868 standard specifications for industrial compostability, which will provide guidance to certification agencies on how to consider coatings during reviews.

The committee welcomes participation from those familiar with the packaging and coating industries for the ongoing development of this standard.

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at

ASTM Committee D20 on Plastics Next Meeting: Nov. 13-16, 2016, November Committee Week, Orlando, Fla.

Technical Contact: John Kokoszka, Sustainable Fiber Solutions, Atlanta, Ga., tel +1.404.229.4334
ASTM Staff Contact: Alyson Fick, tel +1.610.832.9710

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