New British Standard for Oxo-biodegradability

Wells Plastics is delighted to confirm that a new British Standard BS 8472:2011 has now been published and will come into effect on 30th June 2011. BS 8472:2011 “Methods for the assessment of the oxo-biodegradation of plastics and of the phyto-toxicity of the residues in controlled laboratory conditions”.

The term “oxo-biodegradation” is defined as per CEN/TR 15351:2006, as “degradation identified as resulting from oxidative and cell-mediated phenomena, either simultaneously or successively”.

This standard defines a specific template to be used for the reporting of results in order to standardize communication and avoid confusion and in particular describes methods for determining:

a) Degradation by oxidation (abiotic tests);
b) Biodegradation (biotic test in soil); and
c) Phyto-toxicity (plant growth tests);

of plastics materials and products.

The Wells Plastics technical team have been present on the BSi Committee for a number of years bringing to the group a breadth of technical and academic experience to help bring the standard into realisation.

Technical Director Andrew Barclay (Chairman of the Bio-based and Degradable Plastics Group of the BPF) and Technical Manager Dr. Gary Ogden, were members of the BSi Committee reference PKW/0 and made a significant contribution towards the writing and implementation of this Standard.

The Wells team were able to draw on many years of experience in this sector and were able to provide comprehensive input based on in house laboratory tests and experience gained with ReverteTM oxo-biodegradables in ASTM 6954-04 testing. This background provided a bedrock of sound technical knowledge to produce a document of real significance and allows Oxo-biodegradable manufacturers and brand owners to support their products and product claims in a recognised framework.

Commenting on the publication of BS 8472:2011 Sales & Marketing Director of Wells Carl Birch said “We have waited a long time for a British Standard for Oxo-biodegradable technology so we consider this to be excellent news and something that will be very helpful in the marketing of our ReverteTM brand worldwide. It is important to have a benchmark in which everyone can be measured and this will provide a useful tool to confirm the suitability of oxobiodegradable plastics as a method to reduce the amount of plastic waste found in the environment.”

Wells Plastics Limited confirmed independent third party test data for HDPE and LDPE materials containing ReverteTM under ASTM 6954-04 and continue to gain third party accreditation for ReverteTM. Much of this ReverteTM data was utilised in the BPF response to the Defra ‘Loughborough’ Report EV0422 earlier this year confirming that Oxo-biodegradbility has a positive impact on litter within the environment.