ISO 17556 : Aerobic Biodegradation in Soil

ISO 17556 : Aerobic Biodegradation in Soil

What does ISO 17556 standard test method involve?

What is the testing process?  

The ISO 17556 test method is conducted to determine the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of plastic materials in soil by measuring the oxygen demand in a closed respirometer or the amount of carbon dioxide evolved.  

This method applies to the following materials:  

— natural and/or synthetic polymers, copolymers or mixtures of these;  

— plastic materials which contain additives such as plasticizers or colorants;  

What to expect from this testing?

  • Plastic materials and products that pass this test are proven to be biodegradable in a soil environment

Who will benefit from this test?

ISO 17556 may be found useful where the following items are concerned:  

  • Agriculture (e.g. mulching film) 
  • Horticulture (e.g. twines and clips, flower pots, pins) 
  • Funeral items (e.g. body bags, coffins) 
  • Recreation (e.g. plastic “clay” pigeons for shooting, hunting cartridges)


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