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Biodegradability Testing Explained

Current constraints and future prospects

The demand for biodegradable products from consumers has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, correlating with a general drive towards sustainability and corporate social responsibility. With more people focusing on the end-of-life (EOL) cycle of their products, it has become imperative to have an accurate system in place not only to validate degradability claims, but to assess the toxicity of those degradation products and provide alternative solutions in cases where biodegradation isn’t favourable.

If a material cannot be recycled or reused, then it should be degradable and compostable to reduce waste and prevent the accumulation of harmful substances in our environment. This is where accurate and wide-ranging testing is required in order to assess the degradability, disintegration, and toxicological impact of materials. Various tests, as detailed in this white paper, measure different parameters associated with degradation to suit the needs of the client, the claim being validated, and the environment in which the material is likely to degrade.

This white paper explains biodegradability, biodegradability testing methodologies, current constraints and future prospects. 

Download White Paper

Biodegradability white paper highlights

Definitions and overviews

  • Biodegradation
  • Disintegration
  • Compostable 

Current biodegradability and disintegration testing

  • Testing methodologies including advantages & disadvantages
  • Standards organisations

Current guidelines and regulations

  • EU and UK
  • China
  • US

Validating claims

  • Claim validation in line with current and forthcoming legislation to avoid greenwashing

Future of biodegradability testing

  • While existing testing methods offer value, they have inherent limitations
  • These constraints are considered when discussing improvements to current tests, whether by modifying existing techniques or introducing new ones
Dara Headshot

Dara Robinson

About the author

Dara Robinson is a Sustainability Analyst at Eurofins Sustainability Services. Dara has a degree in Biochemistry and a background in chemical regulation for the personal care industry. In her role as Sustainability Analyst she focuses on new product development.

About Eurofins Sustainability Services

At Eurofins, we understand creating a sustainable business model is critical to the future success of businesses and the long-term development of our planet. For this reason, Eurofins Sustainability Services provides help and support to our customers along the value chain. The goal is to ensure our customers fully understand their supply chain and where the most significant impacts occur. We believe businesses can operate in sustainable ways that enhance their economic output.

By focusing on products and materials manufactured in a way that does not deplete natural resources, create a negative impact on the environment, or harm people directly or indirectly involved, businesses embrace sustainability in a meaningful way.

Learn more by visiting sustainabilityservices.eurofins.com

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