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Vinçotte, an inspection and certification organization in Belgium, launched its OK biobased program in September 2009 to provide an independent assessment of a product’s renewability. Now integrated into the TÜV AUSTRIA Group, the OK biobased certification scheme continues to use a star system to indicate the biobased content of a product. A one-star biobased product has biobased content between 20% and 40% while a four-star certified product has a biobased content greater than 80%.
Products for EN 16640 Testing — All products which are partially made from bioplastics and/or materials of natural origin except fuels.
Overview: OK Biobased Summary
Braskem, a petrochemical company in Brazil, has created the I’m Green seal to identify products that contain the Braskem green plastic in their composition. The seal is exclusive to Braskem clients.
I’m Green Overview: http://plasticoverde.braskem.com.br/site.aspx/Im-greenTM-Polyethylene
To promote transparent and credible communication about a product’s bio-based content, the Netherlands Standardization Institute (NEN) launched the Bio-based Content Certification Scheme in 2016. The program is based on European Standard EN 16785-1:2015, which describes the requirements for determining the bio-based content of any given product using Carbon-14 measurement and elemental analysis. Under this standard, the Carbon-14 content of a product is determined according to EN 16640.
Products for EN 16640 Testing — Biobased raw materials, chemicals and intermediates, semi-finished or finished products
The EU Ecolabel is a voluntary scheme created by the European Commission to promote a circular economy and encourage producers to generate less waste and carbon dioxide emissions during the manufacturing process. Many companies use the EU Ecolabel criteria for guidance on eco-friendly best practices. The EU Ecolabel scheme is valid throughout the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
Products for Biobased Content Testing — Biobased Lubricants
According to the EU Ecolabel criteria for lubricants, if the term “bio-based” or “bio-lubricant” is used, the final product shall have a minimum bio-based carbon content of 25%. Compliance is demonstrated by submitting a test report in accordance with analytical standards EN 16807, ASTM D6866, DIN CEN/TS 16137 (SPEC 91236), EN 16640 or EN 16785-1. The criteria for lubricants is valid until December 31, 2024.
DIN CERTCO is a certification organization of TÜV Rheinland Group and DIN, the German Institute for Standardization. Its DIN-Geprüft Biobased certification scheme has three quality divisions based on the biobased carbon content: (a) Biobased 20-50%, (b) Biobased 50-85%, and (c) Biobased >85%.
Products for ASTM D6866 Testing — All products that are at least 50% organic and at least 20% biobased can be certified, except medical and hazardous products and fuels with fossil components. The certification scheme applies to products which are wholly or partly produced from biobased raw materials.
Launched in July 2006, Japan BioPlastics Association’s BiomassPla certification and labeling system certifies biomass-based plastic products. Under this program, registered products carry a logo easily identifiable by consumers. The BiomassPla labeling program only applies to members of the JBPA.
Products for ASTM D6866 Testing — Materials listed in the BiomassPla BMP Positive List [Class A – biomass-based plastics; Class C – half-finished products; Class E – biomass-derived thermosetting plastic raw materials; Class F – half-finished products of Class E]
BiomassPla Overview: Japan BioPlastics Association’s BiomassPla Certification for Biomass-based Plastics
The Eco Mark is an environmental labelling program that considers the product’s entire life cycle. It aims to raise the consumers’ environmental awareness and encourages corporate efforts for environmental improvement.
Products for ASTM D6866/ISO 16620 Testing — Products required to have plant-based components e.g. clothing, household textiles, industrial textiles, office supplies, household commodities, furniture, refill containers and footwear.
Overview: Eco Mark Program
In 2011, the Korea Bio Material Packaging Association (KBMP) launched a certification program applicable to biobased resin and its derivatives with at least 25% biomass content. The BP label is valid for two years.
Products for ASTM D6866 Testing — Biobased resin (pellets), finished products and packaging made from biobased resin
The Taiwanese Environmental Protection Department’s “Green Mark” is the environmental labeling standard for “biobased plastic products” – plastic products that are derived from biomass. Biodegradable products are exempt from the scheme.
The labeling program applies to plastic products with at least 25% biobased carbon content measured by ASTM D6866, the standard used for determining the percentage of the carbon in a plastic product that is derived from biomass versus fossil-based content.
More details on how to apply for this label can be found on the “Green Mark” website.
U.S. government agencies are obliged to procure products with the highest biobased content as listed in the USDA’s BioPreferred Catalog. This USDA program also has a voluntary labeling scheme that aims to keep consumers well informed of their choices when it comes to buying biobased products. Applicants to the latter are required to submit ASTM D6866 certification. Products already part of the federal procurement program are not automatically included in the voluntary labeling program. Qualified products under the federal procurement program still need to be re-tested for biobased content via ASTM D6866 as part of the voluntary labeling program application process.
Products for ASTM D6866 Testing — The Federal Procurement Program accepts products that belong to USDA-established designated categories. The Voluntary Labeling Program is applicable to most biobased products as long as they comply with the required minimum biobased content level.
UL 9798 Bio-based Product Content Validation
UL 9798 bio-based content validation is one of the important parts of UL environmental and sustainability series solutions. It applies to individual solid and liquid materials as well as semi-finished and finished products. Certified products can use UL badges for marketing purposes and are listed in the UL green product database. The UL 9798 bio-based content validation program recommends using ASTM D6866 testing.
Products for ASTM D6866 Testing — building materials, chemicals, cleaning/paper, electronics, furniture/furnishings, plastics, toys
EcoLogo CCD-170 (now UL 2783)
Founded by the Canadian government in 1988, the EcoLogo Program was one of North America’s largest ecolabeling systems. The program certifies a broad range of commercial products. EcoLogo was acquired by UL Environment in 2010.
Products for ASTM D6866 Testing — Instant hand sanitizers
Under EcoLogo’s standard CCD-170, instant hand antiseptic products must be at least 73% biobased excluding the packaging or demonstrate compliance with the USDA BioPreferred Program.
CCD-170 Background: Hand Sanitizers Need Biobased Testing to Get an EcoLogo
The U.S. EPA developed the Safer Choice Label to help consumers and commercial buyers identify chemical-based products with safer ingredients. The label was previously known as Design for the Environment label. To earn the label, products must meet the stringent human health and environmental criteria of the Safer Choice Standard. The EPA conducts annual audits to ensure that the products continue to meet the Standard. As of January 2015, about 2,250 products qualify to carry the Safer Choice Label.
Applicable Products — A wide range of products, including but not limited to, glass cleaners, general purpose cleaners, washroom cleaners, carpet cleaners, laundry detergents, graffiti removers, boat and car care, drain cleaners, personal care, and floor care and other industrial products. The Safer Choice recognition applies only to the finished product.
Participation in the Safer Choice program is voluntary. Aside from the ingredients, the program also evaluates product performance, pH and packaging. The Safer Choice Packaging Criteria (9/2014) only require 25% to be met in one of the six sustainability criteria developed by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC). In the Sustainable Packaging Indicators and Metrics Framework, ASTM D6866 is identified as a guide for measuring renewability of bioplastics.
The EPEAT Program aims to aid purchasers assess and select electronic products based on their environmental attributes. Registered products are rated Gold, Silver or Bronze depending on the percentage of 28 optional criteria they meet on top of the baseline criteria.
According to EPEAT Conformity Assessment Protocols 4.2 Materials Selection Version 1.3 (March 2010) concerning declaration of renewable/biobased plastic materials content of desktop and laptop computers, thin clients, workstations and computer monitors, verification of the biobased content is determined through ASTM D6866.
Products for ASTM D6866 Testing — Plastic materials used in computers and monitors
GreenCircle Certified, LLC helps companies establish brand integrity by providing independent third-party verification of their environmental claims using applicable standards. For its biobased content product certification, GreenCircle will evaluate the product, raw materials and manufacturing operations to verify and certify the renewable/biobased content claims.
Products for ASTM D6866 Testing — All biobased products
RSB offers peer-reviewed, global certification standard for sustainable biomaterials, biofuels and biomass production.
The RSB Standard for Bio-based and Advanced Products (RSB-STD-02-001) describes sustainability requirements for operators involved in the supply chains of bio-based and advanced products. Under the standard, certified bio-based products and bio-based intermediates must have a bio-based carbon content of at least 25% as measured by analytical standards EN 16640, ASTM D6866, CEN/TS 16137:2011 or ISO 16620-1:2015. The standard was effective starting December 10, 2018.
Source: Pages 11-12 of RSB-STD-02-001
Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative has released a list of purchasing specifications called BioSpecs. Manufacturers of food service ware can get Bronze, Silver, and Gold ratings if they meet certain criteria, one of which is organic carbon content.
Products for ASTM D6866 Testing — Food service ware must be at least 95% biobased to get a Bronze rating.
The Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s Sustainable Packaging Indicators and Metrics Framework Version 1.0 includes Renewable Material Use as a supplemental indicator with Total Material Use as the core indicator.
Products for ASTM D6866 Testing — Bioplastics
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the most widely used third-party verification for green buildings. LEED may be applied to all buildings. Projects pursuing LEED certification earn one of four LEED rating levels – Certified, Silver, Gold or Platinum.
ASTM D6866 is used to verify the the biobased content in building materials that meet the Sustainable Agriculture Network’s Sustainable Agriculture Standard, contributing to the LEED rating level. There is no minimum biobased content requirement.
Products for ASTM D6866 Testing — Building materials
LEED v4 Background: https://www.usgbc.org/resources/leed-v4-user-guide
Evaluation Guideline for Determination of Biobased Material Content: https://www.usgbc.org/guide/bdc
Page Last Updated: April 2020