ISO 17088:2008

Specification for the Compostable plastics

ISO 17088:2008 establishes procedures and requirements for recycling labels for plastics, fabrics, or clothing made with these materials. The label should be visible on the item when sold at retail. Following aspects are addressed:

  • Biodegradation;
  • Disintegration during composting;
  • Negative effects on the composting process and facility;
  • Negative effects on the quality of the resulting compost, including the presence of high levels of regulated metals and other harmful components.

This spec is intended to establish the requirements for the labelling of plastic products and materials, including packaging made from plastics, as “compostable” or “compostable in municipal and industrial composting facilities” or “biodegradable during composting.” It will also define how to measure the rate and extent of biodegradation.

Compostable plastics are created in a way that makes them suitable for composting but when not handled properly they will remain in landfills or oceans. If plastic is mismanaged, it can cause harm to the environment by releasing harmful greenhouse gases, ruining natural habitats both in water and on land.