SmartSolve Industries has announced that its water-soluble board stock qualifies as compostable according to the results of testing performed by third-party laboratories NSF International, Bureau Veritas and IPS Testing. These results have been confirmed by The Ashkin Group, an independent consulting firm that focuses on sustainability programs.
The board stock passed test ASTM D6868-11, which measures specific product performance requirements and identifies potential negative effects on human health and the environment. Specifically, the test showed that the material will completely compost in 40 days and contains no hidden or unknown substances that recycled materials sometimes carry.
SmartSolve board stock is 100 percent organic and can be converted into a variety of applications, including cremation urns, pillow packs and point-of-sale hang tags. Despite being compostable, the board stock retains its durability during use, according to SmartSolve Division Leader Jonathan Jakubowski.
“Testing shows that SmartSolve board stock is fully compostable and surpasses the industry standard for compostable materials,” says Jakubowski. “However, while water slowly begins the dispersion process, the small amount of moisture absorbed from normal, everyday use will not affect its pre-compost performance.”
Compostable materials are biodegradable, but it is important to note that biodegradable products are not always compostable. “Compostable” items exhibit several characteristics:
While compostable items are required to break down within a specified period of time in order to be considered as such, the timeframe in which a biodegradable material should disintegrate is unclear. The FTC has yet to specify this, citing only a “reasonably short period of time” to break down.
Compostable material will decompose into humus, or organic soil matter. This action allows the material to be used as a nutrient-rich fertilizer, and is a staple of organic farming.
Materials labeled “biodegradable” do have the basic capability to breakdown into its basic component makeup. There are no specific requirements that any portion of these component parts offer some type of environmental enhancement.
Biodegradable materials sometimes leave a metallic residue behind after breaking down. Compostable items, conversely, must fully and completely decompose, leaving behind no trace of foreign substances.
Compostable materials are mainly employed as soil amendments. By their very nature, they add nutrients and improve soil health and vitality in a variety of ways. Biodegradable products provide no such benefit when they disintegrate and their contents return to nature.
“Upon dispersion,” adds Jakubowski, “SmartSolve board stock returns back to the state from which it originated, with no net loss to the environment.”