Disintegration and Biodegradability Testing.

 

Disintegration and biodegradation of consumer products.

Global pressures associated with environmental impact are not only topical and increasing in consumer awareness but are also a forefront focal point for all industry sectors, including the plastics, leather and textile industries.

The end of life (EOL) credentials of a product is a key element of its sustainability. An important consideration when selecting materials for use in product, is the ability of the material to degrade under natural conditions, to allow ecosystems to thrive with minimal interference.

Often interchangeable and misused terminology, such as ‘biodegradable’, ‘compostable’ ‘degradable’, and ‘recyclable’ can be confusing to consumers and can make understanding EOL claims challenging.

Eurofins | BLC can support with EOL terminology and product labelling claims through its sustainability offerings, which include consultancy support and testing.

 

 

Disintegration Testing

 

 

 

 

At Eurofins | BLC we offer ISO 20200 and ISO 20200 Modified testing, in which materials can be evaluated for their propensity to disintegrate in a compost-like environment.

 

  • ISO 20200

Designed specifically for plastic materials, this test method enables the determination of the degree of disintegration under simulated aerobic composting conditions to be evaluated, via sieving and change in mass techniques. Thereby providing an indication of the likelihood of a plastic to disintegrate when placed in compost environment, in a test which can take 3 - 6 months, depending on the disintegration results.

If required, additional compost nutrient and toxicology testing can be performed on completion of the ISO 20200 testing, as an additional service, if required.  

 

  • ISO 20200 (Modified for Leather)

Traditionally this method is used to evaluate the disintegration of plastics. However, other industries including the leather industry can use the modified method, by substituting the plastic test substrate with a leather or textile.  This method measures disintegration of the test substrate (leather) in a test that can take 3 - 6 months, depending on the disintegration results.

In addition, compost nutrient and toxicology testing can be performed on completion of the ISO 20200 testing, as an additional service, if required.   

 

  • ISO 20200 Supplementary Testing 

To support the percentage disintegration results collected in ISO 20200 and ISO 20200 modified analysis, additional compost nutrient and toxicology testing can be performed on completion of the ISO 20200 testing, as an optional extra:  

 

  • EcoTox Testing

An important consideration when evaluating EOL is the toxicity of breakdown products, which may enter the environment. The EcoTox (in accordance to the  Eurofins TerrAttesT®), is used to evaluate the end compost of ISO 20200 analysis measuring 200+ components quantitatively including (but not limited to): Metals, Volatile Organics, Phenols, Chlorinated Hydrocarbons, Petroleum Hydrocarbons, Nitrogen and other pesticides etc.

 

  • Plant Response Testing and Weed Tests

To evaluate the impact of degraded or undegraded materials when placed in compost/soil, plant response testing can be a useful indicator. Taking ground up substrates and incorporating them into soil growth media at known concentrations, official cultivars of crop or non-crop plants are then planted in these soils to check weed propagules or bio-enrichment or bio-suppression by the material constituents. Methods available include: WRAP 3.0, OECD 301 and ASTM E1963.
 

 

 

Biodegradability Testing

 

 

 

 

 

Biodegradability Testing for Leather

  • ISO 20136

The ISO 20136 method is a leather specific method, to determine degradability by microorganisms. In this technique leather grindings are exposed to an inoculum in an aqueous medium and the rate of aerobic biodegradation of hides and skins (tanned or not tanned), through CO2 production (via collagen degradation) is determined. 

The ISO 20136 analysis typically takes 1 – 2 months dependent on the degradation of the control – hide powder) and results are expressed as percentage of biodegradation, based on the CO2 data collected. 


Biodegradability Testing of Plastic

  • Matrix: Aqueous  - ISO 14852

The ISO 14852 method is a plastics specific method, used to determine the degree of aerobic biodegradability in an aqueous matrix, via measurement of CO2.

The ISO 14852 analysis typically takes between 28 days to 6 months and compares the biodegradation of the test sample, against control samples.  

 

For more information on Disintegration and Biodegradability testing, contact Eurofins | BLC on email info@blcleathertech.com or call us on +44 (0)1604 679 999 to discuss your requirements.

 

Our Accreditations

Eurofins | BLC holds accreditations from UKAS, CPSC, and ILAC, and has auditors approved to carry out LWG audits. Trust Eurofins | BLC to deliver some of the most accurate test results in the industry.

View our Accreditations

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