ASTM D6868-03

    Standard Specification for Biodegradable Plastics Used as Coatings on Paper and Other Compostable Substrates


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    1. Scope

    1.1 This specification covers biodegradable plastics and products (including packaging), where plastic film or sheet is attached (either through lamination or extrusion directly onto the paper) to substrates and the entire product or package is designed to be composted in municipal and industrial aerobic composting facilities.

    1.2 This specification is intended to establish the requirements for labeling of materials and products, including packaging, using coatings of biodegradable plastics, as "compostable in municipal and industrial composting facilities."

    1.3 The properties in this specification are those required to determine if products (including packaging) using plastic films or sheets will compost satisfactorily, including biodegrading at a rate comparable to known compostable materials. Further, the properties in the specification are required to assure that the degradation of these materials will not diminish the value or utility of the compost resulting from the composting process.

    1.4 This standard does not describe contents or their performance with regard to compostability or biodegradability.

    1.5 The following safety hazards caveat pertains to the test methods portion of this standard: This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate health and safety practices and to determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    Note 1—No equivalent ISO specifications exist for this standard.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ISO Standards

    ASTM Standards

    D883 Terminology Relating to Plastics

    D3715/D3715M Practice for Quality Assurance of Pressure-Sensitive Tapes

    D5338 Test Method for Determining Aerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under Controlled Composting Conditions, Incorporating Thermophilic Temperatures

    D6002 Guide for Assessing the Compostability of Environmentally Degradable Plastics

    D6400 Specification for Labeling of Plastics Designed to be Aerobically Composted in Municipal or Industrial Facilities

    D6866 Test Methods for Determining the Biobased Content of Solid, Liquid, and Gaseous Samples Using Radiocarbon Analysis

    Comite Europeen de Normalisation (CEN)

    EN13432 Packaging-Requirements for Packaging Recoverable through Composting and Biodegradation-Test Scheme and Evaluation Criteria for the Final Acceptance of Packaging Available from American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 25 W. 43rd St., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036, http://www.ansi.org.

    Organization for Economic Development (OECD) Standard

    OECD Guideline 208 Terrestrial Plants, Growth Test Available from Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 2 rue Andr Pascal, F-75775, Paris Cedex 16, France, http://www.oecd.org.


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 13.030.99 (Other standards related to wastes)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 55121600(Labels)


    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/D6868-03

    Citation Format

    ASTM D6868-03, Standard Specification for Biodegradable Plastics Used as Coatings on Paper and Other Compostable Substrates, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2003, www.astm.org

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