Exploring Global Standards and Certifications for Compostable Bags

Compostable bags are a type of packaging that can be completely degraded in nature under specific conditions. Unlike traditional plastic bags, compostable bags are made from materials such as PBAT, PLA, and cornstarch, which have good biodegradability. When properly composted, these bags break down into carbon dioxide, water and organic waste, leaving no harmful residues behind. Compostable bags offer an environmentally friendly alternative to non-degradable plastic bags, reducing waste and promoting sustainability.

Standards and Certifications for Compostable Bags

To ensure the authenticity and quality of compostable bags, several standards and certifications have been established. These standards define the criteria and testing requirements for compostable plastics, enabling consumers and businesses to make informed choices.

A. Notable Standards:

1. ASTM D6400 Standard

This standard is developed by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and is specific to the United States. It sets criteria for determining whether a material or product is biodegradable and compostable in municipal or industrial composting facilities. ASTM D6400 covers various aspects such as the requirements for biodegradation, disintegration, heavy metal content, and more.

Visit https://bit.ly/astm-d6400 to learn more.

2. EN 13432: 2000 Standard

This standard is established by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and applies to Europe. EN 13432 defines requirements for packaging recoverable by composting and biodegradation. It specifies criteria for the constituent materials’ biodegradability, disintegration, eco-toxicity testing, quality of the resulting compost, and more.

Visit https://bit.ly/en-13432 to learn more.

3. AS 4736-2006 Standard

This standard is used in Australia and was developed by Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA). AS 4736 evaluates plastics’ suitability for composting through a set of tests that assess their biodegradability under controlled conditions.

Visit https://bit.ly/AS4736 to learn more.

4. AS 5810-2010 Standard

AS 5810 is another Australian standard specifically designed for home composting. It establishes criteria for compostable plastics suitable for composting in a home environment, promoting sustainable practices at the household level. Certification according to the AS 5810 standard involves testing materials’ disintegration in home compost environments while also considering factors such as visual residue after degradation and the absence of heavy metals or other contaminants.

Visit https://bit.ly/AS5810 to learn more.

B. Significant Certifications:

1. BPI Certification

The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) certification is recognized internationally. It verifies that compostable bags meet the requirements of compostability and biodegradability set by ASTM D6400 or EN 13432 standards.

To obtain BPI certification, compostable bags undergo rigorous testing to demonstrate compliance with specific biodegradation and disintegration requirements. The certification process involves laboratory analysis of samples from multiple production runs to ensure consistent performance.

Visit https://bpiworld.org/ to learn more.

2. OK COMPOST Certification

The OK COMPOST certification is awarded by TUV Austria, ensuring that compostable bags meet the composting requirements in industrial facilities. It guarantees proper degradation without leaving any harmful residues.

To receive OK COMPOST certification, compostable bags are tested in industrial composting settings to evaluate their biodegradation rate, absence of toxic residues, and overall compatibility with the composting process.

Visit https://bit.ly/ok-compost-and-home to learn more.

3. OK Home COMPOST  Certification

The OK Home COMPOST certification focuses on compostable bags’ suitability for home composting. It evaluates their ability to degrade and compost in the garden or other home composting environments, promoting convenient and sustainable waste management.

This certification must undergo testing to determine its ability to break down effectively in typical home compost piles without causing harmful effects on plants or animals.

Visit https://bit.ly/ok-compost-and-home to learn more.

4. Seedling Logo Certification

The Seedling logo certification verifies compliance with EN 13432 and ASTM D6400 standards. It assures consumers that compostable bags meet the necessary criteria for compostability.

TUV Austria and DIN CERTCO are two authorized certification bodies from which you can obtain the Seedling Logo.

Visit https://bit.ly/seedling-logo to learn more:

Importance of Choosing Certified Compostable Bags

Selecting certified compostable bags offers several advantages, and one company that exemplifies these benefits is GoBioPack:

A. Ensuring Compliance with Industry Standards

Certifications provide assurance that compostable bags, such as those offered by GoBioPack, meet recognized industry standards. They validate the bags’ ability to biodegrade and compost properly, minimizing the risk of misleading claims or substandard products.

B. Validating Environmental Claims and Performance

GoBioPack’s certified compostable bags have undergone rigorous testing to verify their environmental claims. Consumers can trust that these bags guarantee complete biodegradability and contribute to waste reduction efforts.

C. Promoting Responsible Packaging Practices

By choosing certified compostable bags, consumers and businesses support responsible packaging practices. These bags offer a sustainable alternative to non-degradable plastics, reducing waste and minimizing environmental impact.

Verification and Labeling

Recognizing certified compostable bag labels and logos is crucial when purchasing these products. The presence of certification marks and symbols, such as BPI, OK COMPOST, or the Seedling logo on bags indicates that they meet specific compostability standards. It is important to refer to the respective certification organizations’ guidelines and resources to fully comprehend the requirements and implications associated with each mark. Online databases can be used to validate certifications and ensure the authenticity of the product.

Challenges and Considerations

The compostable packaging industry faces challenges related to the global harmonization of standards and keeping up with evolving technologies. Efforts are being made to align international standards and promote consistency in certification processes. Staying updated with emerging technologies is also important to ensure that compostable bags remain effective and sustainable.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

A. What is the difference between ASTM D6400, EN 13432, and AS 4736 standards?

These standards share similarities in assessing biodegradation and compostability. ASTM D6400 is primarily applicable in the United States, while EN 13432 is specific to Europe. AS 4736 is used in Australia. These regional specifications account for differences in waste management systems, climate conditions, composting practices, and regulatory frameworks.

How does the OK COMPOST HOME standard differ from AS 5810?

OK Home COMPOST certification is primarily based on the criteria outlined in NF T 51800 (2015). AS 5810 standard includes all the requirements of OK Home COMPOST but adds an additional test known as the worm test. This test evaluates the effects of compostable materials on earthworms. It examines whether the material has any adverse effects or impedes earthworm growth and activity within a composting environment.

In summary, AS 5810 adds a worm test requirement compared to OK Home COMPOST.

C. What is the difference between “industrial compostable” and “home compostable”?

“Industrial compostable” products are certified for composting in specialized facilities at higher temperatures (55 to 60°C). They should not be placed in garden compost.

On the other hand, “home compostable” products, indicated by the OK Home COMPOST certification or AS 5810 standard, can be composted at lower temperatures, including in your own garden compost heap or bin.


Standards and certifications play a crucial role in ensuring the quality and environmental responsibility of compostable bags. By choosing certified products, consumers and businesses contribute to a more sustainable future, reducing plastic waste and promoting responsible packaging practices. As the compostable packaging industry continues to grow, adherence to recognized standards will drive its standardization and facilitate the transition to a more sustainable and eco-friendly packaging landscape.

Share This Post

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Do You Want To Boost Your Business?

drop us a line and keep in touch

Get A Quote

Leave your contact information, we will reply within 1 work-day, if urgent please contact joyce@gobiopack.com directly.