ASTM D6852 was developed in 2002 as a guide for biobased product makers who want to characterize their products in terms of biobased content, total resources consumption (raw materials and energy), and environmental profile, which covers the emissions and waste generated by the product in all stages of its life. This is a standard that can help a company determine their products’ carbon footprint.
The ASTM D6866, on the other hand, is an analytical standard. An industrial application of radiocarbon dating, the ASTM D6866 specifies the carbon 14 analysis techniques that can be used to measure the biobased content of a product.
ASTM D7075 looks into all stages of a biobased product’s life – from raw materials to post-consumer waste management – to determine its impact to the environment. The standard takes a life cycle assessment approach in evaluating a product’s environmental performance and describes the standard practice in reporting LCA results.
The ASTM D6400 standard is relevant to plastic makers who want to label their products as “compostable in municipal and industrial composting facilities.” The standard specifies the properties a plastic product must have for it to be considered as compostable.
According to ASTM D6400, plastics and the products made from them are compostable if they biodegrade at a rate comparable to known compostable materials. The standard has also taken into account the quality of the compost produced from the plastics.
These ASTM standards can be downloaded from the ASTM website for a fee.
Based in Miami, Florida, Beta Analytic’s ISO/IEC 17025:2005-accredited lab provides ASTM D6866 testing. The company’s radiocarbon dating lab is able to determine the biobased content of a product by measuring the radiocarbon, or carbon 14, content of a material. Materials from renewable sources still have carbon 14 whereas those of fossil origin no longer have this weakly radioactive carbon isotope. The correlation between biobased content and amount of carbon 14 present in a material makes it possible for ASTM D6866 to determine the exact percentage of a product that is biomass.