Earth Starch 100% Compostable bags are certified ‘Home Compostable’ according to the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) certification AS5810-2010. To achieve this certification the material must be able to fully compost in ambient temperatures typical of compost systems at home.
In a home composting environment or buried in the garden, the certification requirement is for the material to be 90% composted within a 90 day period. We have tested the Earth Starch bags in New Zealand and found after a short 13 days over 70% has fully degraded. 90% was reached within 21 days. NOTE: results may vary depending on the environment.
The certifications apply rules around the materials behaviour within certain circumstances. The certifications are awarded by a few expert agencies globally so consumers and commercial operations can trust the displayed certification. In New Zealand and Australia we observe the certifications from the ABA (Australasian Bioplastics Association) and certification requirements of the (European Normal) EN13432 OK Compost and OK Compost home. The American ASTM D 6400 certification addresses Commercial Composting Operations and not widely recognised in New Zealand.
A circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. Please refer to our diagram.
Earth Starch bags have a 12 month (from date of manufacture) shelf life before they start to degrade. All Earth Starch bags manufactured in 2018 will have the date of production printed on the carton exterior. It is recommended you keep the bags sealed in a container away from moisture, sunlight and heat. Open the container only as you need the bags.
It is conceivable that Earth Starch bags will degrade at a slower pace in a landfill (this is untested). AS5810-2010 certified bags are tested as home compostable, effectively they are compostable in inferior conditions.
Biodegradable products will decompose in a microbial environment, there is no guarantee it will completely degrade and no guarantee how long it will take. Compostable products will be fully decomposed within 90 days in a commercial system or if certified to AS5810-2010 standards 90 days in a home composting system. The end product of CO2, H2O and biomass leave no negative effect on the germination and the growth of plants. As an extension to this; Earth Starch bags have been tested to have no toxic impact on worms It is worthwhile to note that some Countries still refer to Compostable products as being biodegradable; which does not help the confusion.
Earth Starch does not recommend the use of pet waste in your home compost system especially if you use the compost on food producing plants. We feel it is best at the landfill or at a commercial composter who agree to take this type of waste.