Compostable Packaging Product Certification, ISO Standards, ISO certification Ireland
IS EN 13432:2001 Packaging Recoverable Through Composting & Biodegradation
What is IS EN 13432:2001?
Certification to ISO 13432 gives your product a competitive advantage by positioning your business to the forefront of packaging industry standards.
A growing demand for Sustainable, Environmental safe, Green Packaging solutions provides a unique opportunity to lead what is a transition in packaging norms.
This standard sets out the requirements for packaging recoverable through composting and biodegradation. The standard describes a set of criteria for determining whether a material can be considered “compostable”. Nowadays, the terms “biodegradation”, “biodegradable materials”, “compostability” etc. are very common but frequently misused and a source of misunderstanding. IS EN 13432:2001 resolves this problem by defining the characteristics a material must own in order to be claimed as “compostable” and, therefore, recycled through composting of organic solid waste. The definition of the compostability criteria is very important because materials not compatible with composting (traditional plastics, glass, materials contaminated with heavy metals, etc.) can decrease the final quality of compost and make it not suitable for agriculture and, therefore, commercially not acceptable.
Summary of IS EN 13432: ‘Compostable’ criteria
Key tests and Pass / Fail criteria are:
Disintegration – The packaging sample is mixed with organic waste and maintained under test scale composting conditions for 12 weeks after which time no more than 10 % of material fragments are allowed be larger than 2 mm.
Biodegradability – A measure of the actual metabolic, microbial conversion, under composting conditions, of the packaging sample into water, carbon dioxide and new cell biomass. Within a maximum of 6 months, biodegradation of the test sample must generate an amount of carbon dioxide that is at least 90 % as much as the carbon dioxide given off from the control / reference material.
Absence of any negative effect on the composting process.
Low levels of heavy metals (Potentially Toxic Elements) and no adverse effect of the quality of compost produced. Upper limits, in mg/kg of dry sample, are: zinc 150, copper 50, nickel 25, cadmium 0.5, lead 50, mercury 0.5, chromium 50, molybdenum 1, selenium 0.75, arsenic 5 and fluoride 100.
The composted packaging material must not have adverse effect on the bulk density, pH, salinity (electrical conductivity), volatile solids, total nitrogen, total phosphorus, total magnesium, total potassium and ammonium nitrogen characteristics of the compost.
Each of these tests is undertaken according to internationally agreed methods of test, as specified in IS EN 13432. Independent laboratory test results are then compared with the strict pass / fail limits set in the standard. Only if a material passes every ‘compostable’ test requirement is it proven to be ‘compostable’.
Who does the system apply to?
IS EN 13432 applies to any organisation that wishes to:
- Establish, implement, maintain and improve their system which sets out the requirements for packaging recoverable through composting and biodegradation.
- Ensure that it conforms to its stated policy.
- Demonstrate such conformance to others.
- Seek certification by an external organisation.
- Make a self-evaluation and self-declaration of conformance with the standard.
Benefits of IS EN 13432:2001
- Improve your business performance
- Comply with legislation
- Integrate your management systems
- Develop opportunities for new products.
- Applicable to any organisation, large or small and from any industry.
- Improved public image, enhanced reputation and improved brand image.
- Improved staff motivation .
QMS Solutions service to you
- QMS Solutions can produce all technical files and supporting documentation necessary to demonstrate conformance.
- QMS Solutions can align current production processes with the requirements of ISO 13432 ensuring the product of your oganisational production processes is consistently capable of demonstrating conformance with ISO 13432.
- We also provide full in-house training on all aspects of your new system, tailored to your specific production process and product needs and business requirements.
Steps to Certification
- Following initial quotation, an assessor will review your company’s product, processes, procedures, facilities, work environment and resources.
- Conduct an Initial Review, Current State Assessment and Gap Analysis, as required and proportional to your business needs.
- Develop production Plans, Processes, Procedures, Technical files and Records as required by IS0 13432.
- Review and approve the above documentation with the client, as per agreed project approach.
- Handover / implementation of your System
- Provide in-house training where appropriate.
- Liaise with 3rd parties to Assist with Application and Certification to ISO 13432:2001.
- Follow-up audits and pre-audits on request in advance of the Independent 3rd Party Audit.