If plastic is labelled certified compostable, it will need to go to a commercial composting or a commercial organics recycling facility.
Products, bags and packaging that conform to the Industrial Composting Australian Standard AS 4736–2006 and are verified by the Australasian Bioplastics Association can be endorsed with the ABA Seedling Composting logo.
Australian Standard AS 4736–2006 covers companies and individuals wishing to verify their claims of conformance to Biodegradable Plastics suitable for industrial composting. The AS 4736-2006 Standard – Biodegradable plastics—Biodegradable plastics suitable for composting and other microbial treatment, specifies requirements and procedures to determine the compostability, or anaerobic biodegradation, of plastics by addressing biodegradability, disintegration during biological treatment, effect on the biological treatment process and effect on the quality of the resulting compost. This Standard provides a basis to allow labeling of materials or products made from plastics as ‘compostable’, for use in such facilities as municipal or industrial composters. The AS 4736-2006 Standard applies to the processing of plastics in controlled waste treatment plants.
As more communities introduce source separation systems for diverting food waste from landfill, having certified compostable products available that are fully biodegradable, in accordance with the requirements of Australian Standards AS4736 and AS5810, in industrial composting will give consumers and organics recyclers such as composters, the assurance that the products will completely biodegrade in efficiently run systems.
The Seedling Composting logo ensures that these products and materials are easily recognised and food waste or organic waste contained in these certified products can be easily separated out and diverted from landfill.
There are around 150 Industrial Composting and Organics Recycling facilities in Australia. Some councils provide composting facilities through their kerbside waste collections either through green organics and garden waste bin or through dedicated organic recycling service.
For information on Industrial Composting and Organics Recycling facilities contact local councils or the Australian Organics Recycling Association to find the nearest facility.