biodegradable plastic

bio-based & photo-degradable plastic

what is biodegradable plastic

Over recent years the use of biodegradable and bioplastic products have significantly increased.  The ban of single-use plastic by the EU commission by 2020 and the significant changes in consumer’s habits have made these even more popular.  In fact, the production of bioplastics is expected to grow by as much as 20% by 2022 (,

It is the prominent increase of the bioplastics and biodegradable materials that also increase the confusion about these products and raise questions such as when, how and under which conditions these materials are likely to biodegrade?  It should be stressed that there are various types of biodegradables. The two most common categories are the following:

  1. Bio-based biodegradables
  2. Photo-degradable or Oxo-biodegradables

Both types of biodegradable materials are expected to decompose, break down in down small fragments and eventually completely decompose.  But, the mechanism and time of biodegradation differ according to the formulation of the materials and the conditions of the landfill and the end-of-life disposal process. As a result, a series of tests are required in a Laboratory environment in order to assess the biodegradability of the materials and under which conditions they are likely to go through full decomposition. 

The tests that are usually being carried out are tailored to the type of the biodegradable materials and to the landfill conditions. Further information can be found below.

capabilities & standards for biodegradable testing

The test standards listed below are just some of the standard tests which we can offer to understand the biodegradability of a product.  We can work with you to design the best test programme for your product, get in touch today.


  • ASTM D5071 – 06(2013) : Standard Practice for Exposure of Photodegradable Plastics in a Xenon Arc Apparatus – oxo-photo biodegradable
  • ASTM D5208 – 14 : Standard Practice for Fluorescent Ultraviolet (UV) Exposure of Photodegradable Plastics – oxo-photo biodegradable.
  • ASTM D 5511 – 18 : Standard Test Method for Determining Anaerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under High-Solids Anaerobic-Digestion Conditions
  • BS EN ISO 15985:2017, Plastics : Determination of the ultimate anaerobic biodegradation under high-solids anaerobic-digestion conditions – Method by analysis of released biogas


why impact?

Impact Solutions is an independent materials testing and innovative problem-solving provider. Our dynamic team is flexible and adaptable in using their diverse range of knowledge and skills to offer bespoke solutions. Members of impact’s team have over 30 years of polymer experience and are internationally regarded as product and material experts. We can often identify potential sources of weakness in products without even undertaking testing. We will work with you and believe in developing commercially focused and sustainable results for our customers.

Find out more by getting in touch with one of our experts.

plastic testing experts