ASTM WK34454

    New Test Methods for Standard Method for Determining the Disintegration of Compostable Plastics and other Materials in Aerobic Industrial Composting Environments

    (What is a Work Item?)

    Developed by Subcommittee: D20.96 | Committee D20 | Contact Staff Manager


    1. Scope

    In addition to meeting the laboratory standard for 90% tested biodegradability in compost systems as conducted by ASTM D5338, disintegration must be shown in parameters closely related to real world composting processes per ASTM D6400.


    biodegradable; compostable, compostable plastic; composting; degradable plastics; labeling


    Parameters that are used in the current disintegration method (which refers to the parameters listed in the ASTM D 5338), do not reflect real world composting processes. The lack of ability to predict a products performance in real life composting has led many composters to conduct testing in their own composting systems, to ensure proper disintegration of products that have met current standards. Two different testing protocols are provided in this ballot item to represent both the lower end and higher end temperatures expected to be found across a spectrum of composting technologies and processes that are currently in use. For the compostable products market to succeed, composters must have confidence that the ASTM disintegration results reflect what will happen in their operation. If the products do not fully disintegrate within the composting process, composters finished products will no longer meet specifications for certain types of after market purposes, and will be viewed as contamination of their compost.

    The title and scope are in draft form and are under development within this ASTM Committee.

    Citing ASTM Standards
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    Work Item Status

    Date Initiated:

    Technical Contact:
    Kelvin Okamoto

    Draft Under Development