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19 - 22 June 2024

Capture the Hearts of Eco-Conscious Consumers with Bioplastic Production Standards

• Bioplastics are often regarded as a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional plastics because it comes from renewable biomass sources such as corn starch, sugarcane, or vegetable fats and oils instead of fossil fuels. However, there are also potential dangers associated with bioplastics if they are not selected or managed correctly.

• 100% compostable plastics is different from OXO biodegradable plastics which is a bioplastic that has added additives to accelerate its decomposition, so it breaks down into small pieces. When traditional plastics made from petroleum with added additives are exposed to factors such as sunlight, heat, humidity, and oxygen, they break down into microplastics that may not be seen with naked eyes, but can contaminate the environment, are difficult to remove, and are more dangerous than previously conceived.

• What is worrying is that both types of plastics are marketed as environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional plastics, despite their different degradation mechanisms and environmental impacts.

Microplastics affect many species of aquatic life because they are reported to accumulate in tissues, can affect the respiratory system, digestive system, reproduction system and growth. There have also been reports of microplastics being detected in certain types of food, drinking water and beverages in many areas around the world. Examples include canned fish, beer, salt, sugar, honey, mineral water and tap water. This contamination means microplastics have entered the human food chain, and we may be susceptible to microplastics entering our bodies through drinking water from plastic bottles or eating seafood. In order to alleviate these dangers, it is necessary to shed light on the differences between “biodegradable” plastics (not harmful to the environment) and "compostable" (but turn into microplastics), so consumers can identify them and do not misuse or mistreat these plastics.

Modern consumers tend to gravitate toward products made with bioplastics that are truly biodegradable. Therefore, they will look for a material label or a packaging label that indicates that the product or packaging is made from compostable plastic, including certification of national and international standards such as TIS 17088-2012 and GC Compostable (Thai standard), ISO 17088 (internanational standard), EN 13432 (European standard) and ASTM D6400 (US standard).


The TIS 17088-2012 is a standard established to confirm that the certified plastic products can decompose without leaving any visible residue or traces. The adoption of this standard allows organizations such as the Thai Bioplastics Industry Association and the Thailand Environment Institute to use it to certify product biodegradability and encourages entrepreneurs to develop and test their products to meet TIS standards. It is an important tool in supporting the development and improvement of plastic product processes that contribute to the protection of the environment and society.


The important specifications of TIS 17088-2012 include 1. Fragmentation during biological fermentation. For plastics that have undergone bio-fermentation under controlled conditions for 84 days, the residue remaining on the mineral size of 2.0 mm must not exceed 10 percent of the total dry solid mass of the starting material. 2. Final aerobic biodegradation stipulates that organic carbon in plastics or additives and fillers, as the case may be, must be converted to carbon dioxide that can be reused in the photosynthesis process by not less than 90% of organic carbon within 180 days, and 3. Must not have a negative effect on the ability of the compost to support plant growth, and are in compliance with regional and/or national regulations.


As for oxo-type bioplastics, they are often named with the words “OXO” added in such as OXO Degradable, OXO Biodegradable or just OXO along with an associated symbol that indicate biodegradability.


In sum, plastic production that comply with these standards will have more potential to capture the hearts of modern consumers who value environmental conservation.


The InterPlas blogs will continues to highlight interesting aspects of the bioplastics industry to keep you on top of the latest trends. Get ready to see relevant machinery and technology for bioplastics production at InterPlas Thailand 2024 - the 31st edition of ASEAN’s Most Comprehensive Exhibition on Technologies for Plastics Manufacturing during 19 - 22 June 2024 at BITEC, Bangkok. Don't miss the opportunity to come experience the latest innovations and get the most up to date knowledge on this rapidly growing industry.