Biodegradable plastics (OK Compost, OK biograde, Seedling)
Brief description

Global production of plastic waste has increased in recent decades, and plastic waste now accounts for 60 to 80 percent of waste disposed of in the sea. At the same time, CO2 emissions are continually increasing. Although recent years have seen a slight decrease in the rate at which the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is growing, we are still a long way from reduced emissions.

Bioplastics are plastics that come from renewable biomass sources, like vegetable fats and oils, sugar derivatives, corn starch, cellulose, straw, wood, food waste, agricultural by-products, etc. In contrast, regular plastics come from non-renewable sources such as petroleum or natural gas.

All plastics are degradable, but because they can be broken down into microscopic particles or dust, this does not mean that they will ever return to nature.

The cycle from plants to production of the end product and from biodegradation to return to nature is divided into two phases

  • Waste management
  • Resource management

TÜV AUSTRIA has separate certification schemes for each of the two phases:

  • ΟΚ biodegradable & OK compost for waste management
  • OK biobased for material/resource management.

Detailed description

The current bioplastics market is characterized by a dynamic growth rate and strong diversification. But how biodegradable and how compostable are plastics? The certification schemes for biodegradability and compostability of plastics respond to this question. OK Compost is the top globally recognized bioplastics certification system.

The OK Compost certification scheme includes the following categories:

  • OK BIODEGRADABLE SOIL concerns certification of the compostability of products in soil. This scheme is applied mainly in the agricultural and gardening sector (e.g., geotextiles, plant pots).
  • OK BIODEGRADABLE WATER concerns certification of the compostability of products in fresh water. The main application of this scheme is certification of the biodegradability of products in a natural freshwater environment and is aimed at contributing to reduction of waste plastics in rivers, lakes or any natural freshwater environment.
  • OK BIODEGRADABLE MARINE concerns certification of the biodegradability of products in seawater. This main application of this scheme is certification of the biodegradability of products in seawater and it is aimed at contributing to reduction of waste plastics in marine environments.
  • OK BIODEGRADABLE HOME concerns certification of the biodegradability of products in a home environment (e.g., in the garden of a home). Due to the clearly less aggressive environment of a home, in comparison with other environments, garden composting is a much slower and more difficult process.
  • OK COMPOST INDUSTRIAL concerns certification of the compostability of products in an industrial composting plant.

Packaging or products bearing the OK compost INDUSTRIAL label are guaranteed to be biodegradable in an industrial composting plant. The only frame of reference for the certification programme is the harmonized standard EN 13432: 2000. Every product bearing this label is in compliance with European directive 94/62/EC on packaging and the harmonized standard EN 13432:2000. TÜV AUSTRIA is also a certifying body authorized by the European Bioplastics Association to grant the Seedling logo for products in compliance with the EN 13432 standard.



Due to the smaller quantity of waste, the composting temperature is significantly lower and less stable than in an industrial composting environment. This is why it is a more difficult and slower process.

TÜV AUSTRIA’s responded to this challenge by developing OK COMPOST HOME to ensure full biodegradability in light of specific requirements, even in composting in your garden.

  • OK biobased

As a result of increased environmental awareness, there is a growing market for products based on renewable raw materials. And this environmentally-conscious motivation on the part of customers is precisely the reason why there is a need for an independent, high-quality guarantee of the renewability of raw materials. “OK biobased” certification responds to this need.

Based on the specified percentage of renewable raw materials (% Bio-based), the product can be certified as one-star-bio-based, two-star-bio-based, three-star-bio-based or four-star-bio-based.

What is the certification procedure?

Certification Regulation

Certification application

Who is it for?

OK COMPOST certification is designed for a wide range of products of short and long lifetimes. All levels must be certified for the end product to be certified.

What are the benefits of certification?

Application and certification in accordance with the OK COMPOST standard can give added value to an organization:

Who do I contact for certification?

Customer Service Department Contact Person: Ms. Anna Topaltziki, Tel: 210 5220920, Ext: 2064

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