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Deciphering Biodegradable Packaging Standards and Certification Processes

Deciphering Biodegradable Packaging Standards and Certification Processes
Deciphering Biodegradable Packaging Standards and Certification Processes

In the wake of global environmental trends, biodegradable packaging is increasingly becoming a key strategy for the cosmetics industry to achieve sustainability goals. However, successfully transitioning to such packaging involves not only selecting appropriate bio-based materials but also adhering stringently to a series of international and domestic standards to ensure environmentally friendly properties throughout the product’s design, manufacture, and disposal life cycle. This article delves into mainstream biodegradable packaging standards, elucidates core indicators, and thoroughly outlines certification procedures, offering industry professionals a practical compliance guide to facilitate a smooth green packaging transition for cosmetics companies.

I. International and Domestic Mainstream Biodegradable Packaging Standards

1. EN 13432:2000

The European standard EN 13432 sets rigorous criteria for compostable packaging materials. Products must meet the following critical benchmarks under industrial composting conditions:

•Biodegradation Rate: Carbon content must decrease by at least 60% within 180 days.

•Disintegration Degree: Residues must pass through a sieve with a diameter smaller than 2mm within six months.

•Ecotoxicity: The product resulting from composting must not negatively impact plant growth.

•Heavy Metal Limits: Strictly restricts the presence of heavy metals like lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, and copper in packaging materials.

2. ASTM D6400

The American standard ASTM D6400 aligns with EN 13432 on many fronts, focusing similarly on biodegradation rate, physical breakdown, and ecotoxicity. Its main distinctions lie in specific testing conditions and details tailored to the composting facilities in the United States.

3. ISO 14855

As an internationally recognized standard, ISO 14855 provides a test method for determining the biodegradation performance of materials under laboratory conditions using specific microbial populations. It applies to various types of biodegradable plastics, providing technical support for biodegradation performance assessments in other standards.

4. Chinese GB/T 20197

The Chinese national standard GB/T 20197 specifies definitions, classifications, labeling requirements, and degradation performance criteria for degradable plastics, emphasizing the degradation performance of products under various environmental conditions, such as soil and water bodies, and their impact on the ecological environment.

Deciphering Biodegradable Packaging Standards and Certification Processes
Deciphering Biodegradable Packaging Standards and Certification Processes

II. Certification Systems and Environmental Labels

Obtaining reputable certifications is both a means of substantiating product compliance and a crucial avenue for earning consumer trust and enhancing market competitiveness. Below are some well-known biodegradable packaging certification bodies and their respective processes:


Germany’s DIN CERTCO certifies based on standards like EN 13432. The typical process includes:

•Application Submission: Fill out an application form and provide detailed product information.

•Sample Testing: Conduct laboratory tests according to the relevant standards.

•Factory Audit: Assess the compliance of production processes and quality management systems.

•Certificate Issuance: Upon approval, award the “OK Compost” or “Seedling” logo.

2. BPI (Biodegradable Products Institute)

The US-based BPI certifies based on ASTM D6400, with a process that typically entails:

Product Evaluation: Submit details on material composition, manufacturing processes, etc.

•Laboratory Testing: Conduct biodegradability and toxicity tests per the standard.

•Audit & Certification: Upon successful completion, grant the “Compostable” label.

3. TÜV

Third-party testing organizations like TÜV offer certification services for standards like EN 13432 and ISO 14855, following a similar process, with successful candidates receiving corresponding eco-labels upon certification.

III. Ensuring Product Compliance in Practice

At your factory, we implement the following measures to ensure cosmetic packaging made from biodegradable materials conforms to all relevant standards:

•Sourcing of Raw Materials: Rigorously screen bio-based raw materials to ensure they are free of prohibited substances.

•Process Optimization: Employ energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly production methods, reducing energy consumption and pollution emissions.

•Quality Monitoring: Establish an in-house laboratory to periodically conduct biodegradation performance tests, ensuring products consistently meet standard requirements.

•Life Cycle Assessment (LCA): Conduct a comprehensive LCA to identify and improve the environmental impact of packaging across its entire life cycle.

•Regulatory Tracking: Stay up-to-date with domestic and international regulatory developments, adjusting strategies promptly to accommodate standard updates.

Adhering to stringent biodegradable packaging standards and obtaining related certifications is not only a necessary step for cosmetics companies to fulfill their social responsibilities and respond to environmental policies but also a strategic decision to align with market demands and enhance brand image. Through deep understanding and precise implementation of these standards, your factory is actively driving the green transformation of the cosmetics industry, making a significant contribution to building a sustainable future.

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