The tests are carried out in standardised conditions. They are based on European standards which are used to test the degradability of the materials and the environmental compatibility of any residue after degradation, by burying the product in soil. The testing can be carried out in standardised laboratory conditions or outdoors (exposed to outside temperatures). Extra microorganisms can be added to the test soil to speed up the rotting process in controlled conditions.
The customer is free to decide the period over which the testing should take place (length of burial), whether it is done outdoors or in laboratory conditions, and whether or not extra microorganisms should be added.
On the basis of our testing experience, we offer three tried and tested standard procedures:
- For all regenerated and mixed fibres, we recommend burial in soil in laboratory conditions with no extra organisms added.
- For synthetic fibres such as PES or PA, we recommend burial in soil in laboratory conditions with extra organisms added, because synthetic fibres are generally less readily biodegradable and so the rotting process can be speeded up in a controlled manner.
- For natural fibres, on the other hand, we recommend burial outdoors with no extra organisms added. This slowed-down decomposition can be interesting if it is a question of comparing the degradability of products that decompose at different speeds, or if the effect of surface finishes on biodegradation needs to be evaluated.