In February 2014, representatives from the New Zealand organic recycling industry and the plastics industry met to discuss the need to introduce a standard for compostable film that is appropriate for the New Zealand environment.
The key action from the meeting was for the WasteMINZ Organic Materials sector group to consult and gain support with the wider New Zealand composting industry, to discuss and determine the suitability of utilising either the European Standard EN13432 or the Australian Standard AS4736. The Organic Materials sector group would then provide feedback to the plastics industry. Through this process, it is hoped that agreement can be reached on an appropriate standard.
How will the standard be used?
Please note these standards do not address the issue as to whether the plastic film is made from organic materials or not. The standards address decomposition times and temperatures.
The consultation was completed in June 2015. As a result of the consultation, the Organic Materials Sector Group Steering Committee recommended that the Australian Standard AS4736 is used for compostable film. Both the importance of primary production to New Zealand’s brand and economy and the potential effects of the long-term build-up of polyethylene particles within the soil were key factors when choosing to recommend the Australian Standard.
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