Standard Active Last Updated: Feb 10, 2021
ASTM D6868-21

Standard Specification for Labeling of End Items that Incorporate Plastics and Polymers as Coatings or Additives with Paper and Other Substrates Designed to be Aerobically Composted in Municipal or Industrial Facilities


This specification establishes the requirements for labelling of materials and products (including packaging), wherein a biodegradable plastic film or coating is attached (either through lamination or extrusion directly onto the paper) to compostable substrates and the entire product or package is designed to be composted in municipal and industrial aerobic composting facilities. This specification, however, does not describe the contents of the product or their performance with regards to compostability or biodegradability. In order to compost satisfactorily, the product must demonstrate each of the three characteristics as follows: (1) proper disintegration during composting; (2) adequate level of inherent biodegradation; and (3) no adverse impacts on the ability of composts to support plant growth.


1.1 This specification covers end items that include plastics or polymers where plastic film/ sheet or polymers are incorporated (either through lamination, extrusion or mixing) to substrates and the entire end item is designed to be composted under aerobic conditions in municipal and industrial composting facilities, where thermophilic temperatures are achieved.

1.2 This specification is intended to establish the requirements for labeling of end items which use plastics or polymers as coatings or binders, as “compostable in aerobic municipal and industrial composting facilities.”

1.3 The properties in this specification are those required to determine if end items (including packaging) which use plastics and polymers as coatings or binders will compost satisfactorily, in large scale aerobic municipal or industrial composting where maximum throughput is a high priority and where intermediate stages of plastic biodegradation must not be visible to the end user for aesthetic reasons.

1.4 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 safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

Note 1: There is no known ISO equivalent for this standard.

1.5 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 08.03
Developed by Subcommittee: D20.96
Pages: 3
DOI: 10.1520/D6868-21
ICS Code: 13.030.99