Compostable Product Testing

  • Overview
  • Benefits of Certification
  • Why Work With NSF?
  • Testing Process

As consumers and industries alike become increasingly concerned about the environment, the demand for compostability/biodegradability testing is also on the rise. As part of our mission to protect public health and the environment, we provide high-quality laboratory testing to demonstrate compliance with the following biodegradability standards:

  • ASTM D6400, the standard specification for compostable plastics
  • ASTM D6868, the standard specification for biodegradable plastics used as coatings on paper and other compostable substrates

For more information on compostable product testing, call +1 734.476.2543 or contact compostable@nsf.org.

Benefits of Certification

Meeting compostability standards assures customers that your plastic products will biodegrade quickly and safely in municipal or commercial composting facilities.

Compostable certification allows you to:

  • Distinguish your "green" products from your competitors’, making you a preferred vendor to those seeking sustainable solutions
  • Achieve the most credible type of certification available in the marketplace
  • Use the NSF Sustainability Certified mark on your products and in your advertising

Download the compostable testing services brochure.

Why Work With NSF?

With nearly 70 years of testing experience and laboratory accreditations including ISO/IEC 17025, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), International Accreditation Service (IAS) and more, NSF is fully equipped to offer you comprehensive compliance services.

Our lab is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) specifically for ASTM D6400 and D6868 for compostable and biodegradable plastics. As a program administrator and approved testing laboratory for the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), we can also test and verify your product’s biodegradability claims. For more information on BPI certification, visit the BPI webpage.

Known for our dedicated customer service and state-of-the-art test laboratories, we can offer you timely, cost-effective testing to determine the compostable nature of your products.

Testing Process

We deliver prompt service and assign you a dedicated project manager to help guide you through the testing and verification process. The process is specific to a particular product’s composition and formulation. Your company provides us with product compositional information and we determine the testing requirements according to the applicable standard(s).

To demonstrate compliance with the existing compostable standards, we provide three main types of testing:

  • Biodegration - Measures the ability of the material to be converted to carbon dioxide by microorganisms present in the compost
  • Disintegration – Measures the ability of the material to fragment, so as to prevent clogging of the composting screening equipment (lab scale)
  • Eco-toxicity – Determines whether the composting material inhibits plant growth

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