, ,

New Study Confirms The Biodegradability Of Biopolymer Mulch Films

Biodegradation Of Synthetic Polymers In Soils: Tracking carbon into CO2 and microbial biomass

Plastic materials are widely used in agricultural applications to achieve food security for the growing world population.  Thin mulch films made of polyethylene are used in agriculture in numerous countries, where they cause extensive soil contamination. The use of biodegradable instead of nonbiodegradable polymers in single-use agricultural applications, including plastic mulching, promises to reduce plastic accumulation in the environment.

A study by researchers at ETH Zurich and Eawag have now identified an alternative: films made of the polymer PBAT biodegrade in soils. Zumstein et al Biodegradation_of_synthetic_polymers_in_soils_Trac

Our world is drowning in a flood of plastic. Eight million tons of plastic end up in the oceans every year. Agricultural soils are also threatened by plastic pollution. Farmers around the world apply enormous amounts of polyethylene (PE) mulch films onto soils to combat weeds, increase soil temperature and keep the soil moist, thereby increasing overall crop yields.

After harvest, it often is impossible for farmers to re-collect the entire films, particularly when films are only a few micrometers thin. Film debris then makes its way into the soil and accumulates in the soil over time, because PE does not biodegrade. Film residues in soils decrease soil fertility, interfere with water transport and diminish crop growth.

Soil microbes mineralise films composed of alternative polymer

Researchers at ETH Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) have now shown in an interdisciplinary study that there is reason to be hopeful. In their recent study, they demonstrate that soil microbes degrade films composed of the alternative polymer poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT). Their work has just been published in the journal Science Advances.

In the research project coordinated by Michael Sander, Kristopher McNeill and Hans-Peter Kohler, former ETH doctoral student Michael Zumstein succeeded in demonstrating that soil microorganisms metabolically utilised the carbon in the PBAT polymer both for energy production and also to build up microbial biomass.

Video: ETH Zurich

“This research directly demonstrates, for the first time, that soil microorganisms mineralise PBAT films in soils and transfer carbon from the polymer into their biomass,” says Michael Sander, Senior Scientist in the Environmental Chemistry Group in the Department of Environmental Systems Science at ETH Zurich.

Like PE, PBAT is a petroleum-based polymer that is used to make various products, including mulch films. Because PBAT was already classified as biodegradable in compost, the ETH and Eawag researchers aimed at assessing whether PBAT also biodegrades in agricultural soils. By comparison, PE does not biodegrade in compost or in soil.

Labelling of polymer with carbon-13

In their experiments, the researchers used PBAT material that was custom-synthesised from monomers to contain a defined amount of the stable carbon-13 isotope. This isotope label enabled the scientists to track the polymer-derived carbon along different biodegradation pathways in soil.

Upon biodegrading PBAT, the soil microorganisms liberated carbon-13 from the polymer.

Using isotope-sensitive analytical equipment, the researchers found that the carbon-13 from PBAT was not only converted into carbon dioxide (CO2) as a result of microbial respiration but also incorporated into the biomass of microorganisms colonizing the polymer surface.

True biodegradation

“The beauty of our study is that we used stable isotopes to precisely track PBAT-derived carbon along different biodegradation pathways of the polymer in the soil,” says Michael Zumstein.

The researchers are the first to successfully demonstrate – with high scientific rigor – that a plastic material is effectively biodegraded in soils.

Because not all materials that were labelled “biodegradable” in the past really fulfilled the necessary criteria. “By definition biodegradation demands that microbes metabolically use all carbon in the polymer chains for energy production and biomass formation – as we now demonstrated for PBAT,” says Hans-Peter Kohler, environmental microbiologist at Eawag.

The definition highlights that biodegradable plastics fundamentally differ from those that merely disintegrate into tiny plastic particles, for instance after exposure of the plastic to sunlight, but that do not mineralise. “Many plastic materials simply crumble into tiny fragments that persist in the environment as microplastics – even if this plastic is invisible to the naked eye,” Kohler says.

 

To investigate biodegradation of PBAT mulch films in soil, an ETH doctoral student fill incubation bottles with soils containing pieces of the mulch films.

Fungal hyphae colonize the PBAT film surfaces and use the PBAT carbon in their metabolism.

The soils containing the pieces of mulch films are incubated in a temperature-controlled chamber. Microbes that biodegrade the films emit CO2, which is continuously analysed.

Bacteria join the fungi during biodegradation. (Electron microscopy images: ETH Zurich / Environmental Chemistry Group)
In their experiment, the researchers placed 60 grams of soil into glass bottles each with a volume of 0.1 litre and subsequently inserted the PBAT films on a solid support into the soil.

After six weeks of incubation, the scientists assessed the extent to which soil microorganisms had colonised the PBAT surfaces. They further quantified the amount of CO2 that was formed in the incubation bottles and how much of the carbon-13 isotope the CO2 contained. Finally, to directly demonstrate the incorporation of carbon from the polymer in the biomass of microorganisms on the polymer surfaces, they collaborated with researchers from the University of Vienna.

At this stage, the researchers cannot yet say with certainty over which timeframe PBAT degrades in soils in the natural environment given that they conducted their experiments in the lab, not in the field. Longer-term studies in different soils and under various conditions in the field are now needed to assess the biodegradation of PBAT films under real environmental conditions.

Too early for an all-clear

“Unfortunately, there is no reason to cheer as of yet: we’re still far from resolving the global environmental problem of plastic pollution,” says Sander, “but we’ve taken a very important first step in the direction of plastic biodegradability in soil.”

At the same time, he cautions against unrealistic expectations for biodegrading plastics in the environment: “As we have demonstrated, there is hope for our soils in the form of biodegradable polymers. The results from soils should, however, not be directly transferred to other natural environments. For instance, biodegradation of polymers in seawater might be considerably slower, because the conditions there are different and so are the microbial communities.”

 

Initially Published by Peter Rüegg on the 25/07/18 in the ETH Zürich

www.ethz.ch/en/news-and-events/eth-news/news/2018/07/soil-bugs-munch-on-plastic-films.html

, ,

Bioplastics market data 2017 – Global production capacities of bioplastics 2017-2022

Currently, bioplastics represent about one percent of the about 320 million tonnes of plastic produced annually. But
as demand is rising and with more sophisticated biopolymers, applications, and products emerging, the market is
continuously growing.

Dynamic market growth

According to the latest market data compiled by European Bioplastics in cooperation with the research institute nova-Institute,
global bioplastics production capacity is set to increase from around 2.05 million tonnes in 2017 to approximately
2.44 million tonnes in 2022. Report_Bioplastics_Market_Data_2017

, , ,

How Long Does It Take For Certified Compostable Products Take To Compost?

AORA Demonstration Day Proves ABA Certified Compostable Materials Meet Australian Composting Requirements.

The Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) and its Members participated at the 2018 Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) Annual Conference Demonstration Day Held in Brisbane by putting certified compostable bags and food service ware to the test.

Participating ABA members supplied their certified compostable bags and food service ware with the AORA team to establish time required for items to compost under AORA established conditions. ABA member certified compostable bags and food service ware were buried in an open windrow. Windrow composting is the production of compost by piling organic matter in long rows (windrows).

The AORA team built a windrow of composting FOGO (Food Organics Green Organics) consisting mostly of green waste removed from normal processes at around two weeks from establishment and at around seven weeks prior to the demonstration. Once built, the windrow was not turned again.

The certified compostable items supplied by ABA members were buried in the windrow and staked out at 6/4/2/1 weeks to test decomposition time. At 6/4/2/1 weeks and around 10 days prior to the demonstration the AORA team placed fresh food waste (lettuce and other green leaves) in ABA member certified compostable plastic bags and placed them and some ABA member certified compostable plates, Take-out containers, Clear cups, Paper Coffee Cups and cup lids into holes dug to a depth of around 400-600mm in the windrows. These were re-buried and marked with stakes. The windrow was not otherwise touched. The windrows were temperature tested weekly at 62-65C.

                              

On the AORA Demonstration Day in front of AORA Conference attendees, the AORA team dug up the areas marked with the stakes to check the certified compostable materials state of decomposition. At none of the marked stakes were AORA able to find any evidence of the buried material.

The results, of the decomposition trial of ABA member supplied certified compostable material, were conclusive that all the materials buried during the trial period were composted. The rate of decomposition particularly from items buried at the 1/2/4 week stakes demonstrated the speed of decomposition of certified compostable items. Further investigation, by the AORA team, using a Komptech turner and trommels to ensure nothing was missed, again confirmed that all ABA member supplied certified compostable items had composted.

On completion of the test, ABA Executive Warwick Hall and ABA Committee Member Rivka Garson spoke to AORA members on the stringent process that compostable products need to go through to achieve certification and have the ability to carry the seedling or home compostability logo. Hall and Garson, also spoke on the importance of ensuring that only certified compostable bags and products are used for in composting processes and how to easily identify these items, through the seedling logo and home compostability logo as well as the identifying number supplied to each ABA members products. Without the logos and identifying numbers, material is not considered certified compostable.

Martin Tower, Executive Director AORA stated, “I have to say I was amazed (and a bit embarrassed) that we could find no evidence of anything we buried. I was paying particular attention when the Komptech turner went through the pile to see if we had missed anything but again I saw nothing then or subsequently before the trommels got to work on the windrow. This conclusively proves that Australasian Bioplastics Members supplied certified compostable bags and food service ware decompose under AORA specified conditions.”

About the AORA Annual Conference

The AORA Annual Conference is well established as the principal conference in Australia for the recycled organics industry. Each conference is a forum for education, discussion and networking related to Organics Recycling. It is also an opportunity to celebrate outstanding achievements in the industry. www.aoraconference.com.au

 

, ,

Australasian Bioplastics Association Applauds Federal Government’s Commitment To 100% Recyclable, Compostable Or Reusable Australian Packaging By 2025

The Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) welcomes and applauds the announcement from Federal Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg that by 2025, 100 per cent of Australian packaging to be recyclable, compostable or reusable.

Minister Frydenberg has been pushing the plan to ensure packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable, which would eliminate much of household rubbish. Commonwealth, state and territory environment ministers have agreed to cut Australia’s supply of waste, increase our recycling capability and increase the demand for recyclable products in response to China’s new restrictions on recyclable waste.

Josh Frydenberg stated, “The solution is to work cooperatively with the states to create new opportunities for Australia to build its domestic capacity to recycle more material; to get governments to procure more recyclable material; to turn more waste into energy; and to look at ensuring that all packaging is reusable or recyclable by 2025.”

Ministers have also brought forward the review of Australia’s National Waste Policy to be completed within a year. This will ensure that governments are taking the most appropriate and timely actions to support a sustainable recycling industry. Australia has an opportunity to develop its capabilities and capacity in recycling through effective cooperation and collaboration among the three levels of government.

As the leading industry body for Australian and New Zealand manufacturers, converters and distributors of bioplastic products and materials, the Australasian Bioplastics Association administrators a voluntary verification scheme for compostable bioplastics certification.

Robin Tuckerman, Australasian Bioplastics Association representative states, “The Australasian Bioplastics Association welcomes the announcement by Minister Frydenberg and the recognition that certified compostable bioplastics have a fundamental game changing role in reducing waste going to landfill. Many of our members are leaders in bioplastics, are dedicated to a circular economy and have been developing certified compostable alternatives to conventional plastics for decades.”

Australasian Bioplastics Association members are already a major contributor to local councils FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics) waste diversion programs. Recognising that diverting FOGO from landfill has environmental and commercial benefits, many Australian and New Zealand councils have implemented FOGO diversion programs where FOGO is collected in certified compostable bags and sent to commercial composting facility.

Certified compostable bioplastics are made from bio-based material and compost in either industrial compost facilities if certified to Australian Standards 4736-2006 for Industrial Composting or if certified to Australian Standards 5810-2006 for Home Composting. Certification provides compost facilities confidence that compostable bags do not cause contamination. The Australasian Bioplastics Association’s programs are supported by AORA (Australian Organics Recycling Association).

For almost every conventional plastic material and application, there is a bioplastic alternative available on the market that has the same properties and offers additional advantages. With Australia’s largest supermarkets taking robust action to phase out single-use plastic bags and states heading to bans on plastic bags used by retail outlets including reducing plastic wrapping on fruit and vegies, certified compostable bags offer a real alternative. Certified compostable labelling assists consumers, recyclers, composters and councils to clearly identify these products and ensure correct waste separation, collection and recovery.

Rivka Garson, Australasian Bioplastics Association committee member states, “Made from bio- based resins, that compost in industrial facilities within 12 weeks and therefore having a real impact on plastic waste reduction; certified compostable film can be used for an endless list of items including external packaging, produce bags, dog poo bags, agricultural films and many more items. Going forward, the Australasian Bioplastics Association is looking forward to having a very positive effect on Australian waste reduction.”

The 2025, 100 per cent target will be delivered by the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation, working with its 950 member companies and partners, including the Australasian Bioplastics Association.

, ,

New Report Says Bioplastics Will Outpace The Economy As A Whole

A Plastics Market Watch report released 10 May, entitled Watching: Bioplastics – the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) reports bioplastics are in a growth cycle stage and will outpace the economy as a whole. New investments and entrants in the sector and new products and manufacturing technologies are projected to make bioplastics more competitive and dynamic.

The report finds growing interest in bioplastics, but also a continued need for education. According to a survey PLASTICS conducted of U.S. consumers in January 2018, more consumers are “familiar” or “somewhat familiar” with bioplastics compared to a survey conducted just two years ago; 32 percent of consumers are familiar with bioplastics in 2018 compared to only 27 percent in 2016. The PLASTICS survey also indicated 64 percent of consumers would prefer to buy a product made with bioplastics – and expect to see bioplastics in disposable plastic tableware, plastic bags, food and cosmetic packaging, and toys.

As bioplastics product applications continue to expand, the growth dynamics of the industry will continue to shift. Looking at industry studies on market segmentation, packaging is the largest segment of the market at 37 percent followed by bottles at 32 percent. Growth opportunities in bioplastics manufacturing are expected to continue from the demand and supply side. While in the past growth in bioplastics was primarily driven by higher petrol-based polymers, changes in consumer behavior will be a significant factor for higher demand of bioplastics.

“Changes in U.S. tax policy, particularly the full expensing of capital expenditure, should support research and development in bioplastics. The overall low cost of energy in the U.S. complements nicely with research and development activities and manufacturing, which generates a stable supply of innovative bioplastic products,” said Perc Pineda, PhD, chief economist at PLASTICS.

The research and partnerships with bioplastics is exemplified by the efforts to develop a 100 percent biobased PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) bottle. Most PET bottles currently have approximately 30 percent biobased material, but a number of companies and collaborations are working to develop and launch, at commercial scale, a PET plastic bottle made from 100 percent biobased material.

Despite the industry’s embrace of bioplastics and their expanding presence in a wide range of products, PLASTICS’ Pineda noted, “A high percentage of surveyed respondents believe they have not seen or used a product made from bioplastic — either biobased or biodegradable. Continuing to educate consumers on bioplastics would go a long way.”

The report is available for download to members and non-members. First published in bioplastics Magazine

http://www.plasticsindustry.org. 

,

Europe To Ramp Up Funding For Bio-based Plastics

Europe to ramp up funding for bio-based plastics

The European Commission will increase the funding for research and development of innovative bio-based plastics and to further improve plastic recycling. During the press conference on the European Strategy on Plastics earlier this month, the Commission’s Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said: “we are also ready to finance or increase financing for new innovations in recyclability and new oil-free raw materials. Horizon 2020 has already allocated 250 million Euros for this kind of innovative work, and we have decided to increase the ceiling with additional 100 million by 2020.”

This is an important signal for the bioplastics industry in Europe, which is needed to drive continued change in the plastics industry towards an innovative, sustainable, and resource-efficient economy.

In the Communication of the Plastics Strategy, the Commission highlights that “alternative types of feedstock (e.g. bio-based plastics or plastics produced from carbon dioxide or methane), offering the same functionalities of traditional plastics with potentially lower environmental impacts at the moment represent a very small share of the market. Increasing the uptake of alternatives that according to solid evidence are more sustainable can also help decrease our dependency on fossil fuels.”

The Commission’s commitment to supporting the development and scaling up of alternative bio-based feedstocks for plastics is crucial for a still young industry that offers substantial opportunities for innovation, jobs, and at the same time supporting the EU’s transition to a circular economy.

Read more here

, ,

Big Brands Embracing Bioplastics

Big Brands Embracing Bioplastics

We all love the convenience of easy to buy, easy to use products that fill our supermarkets. Convenience means packaging and that means that there are no escaping plastics in our life. Packaging is the single biggest application of plastic globally with most packaging being disposable, single-use items.  Unfortunately, even though recycling exists in many countries, only 2% of recycling globally is turned into new packaging. In addition, with 8 million tonnes of the material enter the ocean each year something has to change.

There are now positive signs that both governments and industry are moving towards a circular economy, where the end use of plastics and packaging is considered from the outset. It looks like bioplastics are no longer just of interest to sustainability focused consumers, big brands have started taking note of bioplastics advantages.

Forward thinking big brands are taking a lead and are calling for the consumer goods industry to step-up its efforts to tackle the mounting challenge of ocean plastic waste and create a circular economy for plastics.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation announced at the World Economic Forum on January 22nd 2018 a list of 11 big brands working towards using 100 per cent reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by 2025. Big names including Amcor, Ecover, evian, L’Oréal, Mars, M&S, PepsiCo, the Coca-Cola Company, Unilever, Walmart, and Werner & Mertz, have chosen to lead the way for other brand-owners, retailers and plastics processors to make the consumables market more sustainable. Considering they represent over six million tonnes of plastic packaging annually, these companies can create real impact.

With an ever-growing number of big brands turning to bioplastic solutions, the market penetration is well on its way. Brands such as Procter & Gamble, Puma, Samsung, IKEA, Tetra Pak, Heinz, Stella McCartney, Gucci and retail leader Iceland UK have already introduced first large scale products in Europe.

There are also other well-known names committing to change, for example, Lego allocated one billion kroner (AUS$162.8 million) to research more sustainable materials. In the automotive market, Ford, Toyota and Mercedes have introduced various bioplastic components in several car models and electronics giant Fujitsu already uses bioplastics in some of its products.

Although the impact of all of these big brands making changes will not be immediate, they will start resonating through their supply chain with suppliers and manufacturers needing to look at viable functional alternatives including plant based compostable bioplastics . The next few years will be an exciting time for the bioplastic market and for consumers. Consumers will be able to make informed decisions and choose products and packaging that have a positive impact.

, , , ,

What Do Consumers Think Of Bio-Based Food Packaging?

What Do Consumers Think Of Bio-Based Food Packaging?

Companies in the food sector are looking for alternatives to regular plastic packaging to reduce their CO2 footprint, but can manufacturers and retailers strengthen the brand position of their food products by choosing bio-based food packaging?

For food safety reasons, recycled food packaging, with some exceptions, is not suitable to be reused as food packaging. This is why packaging made from renewable raw materials is the only sustainable option for the vast majority of food products. “

Research in the Netherlands is studying the perceptions of bio-based packaging among consumers and aims to give manufacturers and retailers advise on making well-founded, sustainable packaging choices. Within the COMBO public-private partnership, Wageningen University and Research is helping brand owners in the food segment make well-founded, sustainable packaging choices.

Karin Molenveld and Koen Meesters, scientist at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, found that many manufacturers and retailers choose drop-in bio-based packaging, which is chemically identical to the traditional packaging but made from renewable raw materials instead of petroleum.

This transition to bio-based has to be made carefully,” says Molenveld, “First, the new packaging must have the right functional properties. But we also need to know how consumers respond to the new packaging and how consumer opinion reflects on the brand.”

Different Is Good

Molenveld stated, “Consumers immediately notice the difference between bio-based packaging with a totally different material composition from the regular packaging. The packaging may have a different appearance or the bio-based plastic feels and sounds differently than what they are used to. Consumers experience this as positive. But a ‘fossil’ PET bottle cannot be distinguished from a bottle made from vegetable sugars, so, if you choose to use a drop in bio-based packaging, you need to clearly communicate and let the consumer know that (even though it looks exactly the same), the new material is beneficial to the environment.”

Clear Communication Vital

 Meesters states, “As a manufacturer or retailer you have to be careful about the claims you make. You can’t just say your packaging is CO2 neutral. As it is almost impossible to prove, you run the risk of having to withdraw the claim and damaging your reputation. In other words: make sure the claim is correct. For example, a claim like ‘this packaging is made from plants’ cannot be contradicted. Moreover, consumers like to know what to do with the packaging after use, which is why claims about recycling and composting are included in the research.”

Consumers are positive about  ‘compostable’ and ‘recyclable’

Consumers need and want to know what to do with the packaging after use. Clear and correct claims about the recyclability of the packaging as well as recommendations for a correct disposal should always be included on the packaging. Machiel Reinders, scientist at Wageningen Economic Research, confirms that consumers are positive about claims on bio-based packaging such as ‘compostable’ and ‘recyclable’, which clearly indicate how to dispose of the packaging product. “Our research shows that consumers prefer clear claims. Stating that products can be discarded with the organic waste is a good example. The more concrete the sustainability benefits, the better the packaging is evaluated.”

In Australia bio-based drop-in plastics can be disposed and recycled together with their conventional counterparts. Compostable packaging, that is certified to Australian standard AS 4736–2006 is designed to be treated in industrial composting plants and compostable packaging that is certified to Australian standard AS 5810-2010 can be home composted.

https://www.wur.nl/en/article/Biobased-food-packaging-through-the-eyes-of-the-consumer.htm?wmstepid=mail_de_auteur

,

New York City Roles Out Comprehensive Composting Program

NYC Roles Out Comprehensive Composting Program

It only took three years for New York City, with a population of 8.5 million, to launch a comprehensive composting program for homes, businesses, and schools. Today, New York City’s kerbside food-scrap collection program has reached 3.3 million residents.

So how did New York City do this?

For several years, environmental groups and forward thinking residents ran sanctioned and unofficial composting sites on city land. Food-scrap drop-off sites opened at farmers markets, parks and outside subway stations.

In 2013, seeing composting as an opportunity to address climate change, Mayor Michael Bloomberg championed a citywide program as one of his final initiatives in office. Composting curbs greenhouse-gas emissions and saves money by reducing the amount of waste trucked and shipped by rail to landfills, which costs NY about $105 a ton.

To encourage more composting, the New York City Council passed two laws to launch residential food-scrap collection and guidelines for diverting commercial waste from landfills. There were sceptics, even in the environmental community, who envisioned neglected piles of smelly, rotting food.

Education the key

However, with funding from the city’s Department of Sanitation, groups such as GrowNYC and the Lower East Side Ecology Centre taught classes on sustainability and composting to residents in their respective boroughs. As part of the NYC Compost Project, each group organized drop-off locations and managed a composting yard. First-time compost participants completed online training before receiving a pass code to bins at the drop-off sites.

Meanwhile, the sanitation department launched a separate program for kerbside collection with a neighbourhood in Staten Island and 100 schools as the first participants. A new brown bin joined the recycling and trash bins. The bins were emptied by trucks already collecting leaf and yard waste. Municipal employees managed the program and worked out any snags. Initially, the food scrap was sent to two composting sites and one anaerobic digester within the city.

Less than 1 percent contamination

Even though New York had a poor recycling rate, it was still able to make room for food-scrap diversion in its waste management program. The Staten Island collection reached a respectable 43 percent participation rate, with a contamination rate of less than 1 percent.

New neighbourhoods, schools and high-rise apartments were added to the kerbside program. As of the end of 2017, kerbside collection reached 3.3 million New Yorkers. The drop-off program reached a collection milestone of 10 million pounds in December. By the end of 2018, all residents are expected to have access to municipal kerbside collection or drop-off sites.

Zero Waste Challenge

Progress continues under Mayor Bill de Blasio, who launched the next goal: Zero Waste Challenge. The program is underway at several public schools. In addition to composting and aggressive recycling, the aim is to eliminate waste by 2030 through reuse programs, pay-as-you-throw trash collection and greater recycling of textiles and electronics.

New York’s success demonstrates what can be achieved through careful planning, effective engagements, communication and education.

Modified from an original post by ecoRi News

, ,

AORA and ABA Release Joint Position Paper on Certified Compostable Bioplastics

The Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) and the Australian Bioplastics Association (ABA) have published a joint position paper on Certified Compostable Bioplastics.

AORA  supports the use of compostable bags and plastics which meet the requirements of AS 4736 and AS 5810 as verified by the Australasian Bioplastics Association allows for safe, effective source separation acceptable for organic resource processing/recycling. Conventional plastics such as polyethylene are not certified compostable and are not biodegradable in any context. Varieties of polyethylene containing additives, such as those called oxo-degradable or oxo-biodegradable are not certified compostable and are not suitable for normal organic processing/recycling operations as they are not biodegradable.

See Joint Position Paper here