In recent years, the use of eco-friendly packaging has become increasingly widespread, owing to societal changes, consumer pressure and regulations.
Environmentally friendly packaging causes less harm to the environment and improves a company’s brand image, as it is frequently scrutinized and used as the measure of a company's overall sustainability. This is why many organizations are working to develop and use new materials, including biodegradable and compostable polymers, because:
- They can be used to produce food packaging for many types of fast foods, processed foods and beverages, including dairy products, bakery items, deli items, salads, soups and snacks, e.g. water bottles, coffee capsules, thermoformed trays for fresh and frozen foods, and disposable plates and cutlery. Food packaging is one of the primary generators of packaging waste in developed countries. The French government has decided to prohibit the production and distribution of plastic dishes throughout the country, with effect from 2020, with the exception of those that are biodegradable and compostable through domestic composting.
- In some countries, the use of such materials is mandatory for the production of shopping bags and waste bags for separate collection of organic waste.
- These materials are starting to be used in agriculture for mulch films, and at points of sale for gloves and bags for fruit and vegetables (mandatory in France from January 2017).
One of Mérieux NutriSciences’ founding values is the provision of safety and quality services, and environmentally friendly solutions. To this end, we have a dedicated division with more than ten years of experience in such studies, working with various international companies. In addition, we participate in international committees in this field. We have OK Compost accreditation (link to our Vincotte accreditation http://www.okcompost.be/data/pdf-document/okc-labe.pdf) and our test laboratory bears the “Seedling” mark (European bioplastics).
We have proven expertise in:
- Evaluation of compliance with requirements for packaging suitable for organic recycling in accordance with EN 13432, ISO 17088, ASTM D6400 and ISO 18606
- Evaluation of the compostability of compostable plastics in accordance with EN 14995
- Determination of the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastics, in accordance with ISO 14855 and ASTM D5338
- Determination of the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials in soil, in accordance with ISO 17556
- Determination of the degree of disintegration of plastic materials in a pilot-scale aerobic composting test in accordance with ISO 16929
- Determination of the degree of disintegration of plastic materials when exposed to a laboratory-scale composting environment in accordance with ISO 20200
Tests conducted in accordance with ISO 14855 and EN 16929 are accredited by ACCREDIA (the Italian national accreditation body).
We perform tests to evaluate rapid biodegradability and intrinsic biodegradability in accordance with OECD 301 and OECD 302 guidelines, and implement methods to determine the biodegradability of detergents in accordance with:
- ISO 11733 - Determination of the elimination and the biodegradability of organic compounds by aerobic micro-organisms
- ISO 14593 - Evaluation of ultimate aerobic biodegradability of organic compounds in aqueous medium (CO2 headspace test)
- ISO 11734 - Evaluation of the ultimate biodegradability of organic compounds in digested sludge at a given concentration by anaerobic microorganisms