Table 1.

Currently active biodegradability standards for plastic materials within wastewater and sewage sludge.

standardinoculummediumtemperature (°C)measurement typetest durationno. of experimental replicatesvalidity criteria
BS EN ISO 14851:2004 [35]sludge, compost and/or soilsynthetic; aerobic20–25 (± 1)BODa; static test conditionsmax. six monthsmin. 2greater than 60% degradation of reference material; BOD of negative control must not exceed a specified upper limit
BS EN ISO 14852:2004 [36]sludge, compost and/or soilsynthetic; aerobic20–25 (± 1)CO2 evolution; static test conditionsmax. six monthsmin. 2greater than 60% degradation for reference material; CO2 evolved from negative control must not exceed a specified upper limit
BS ISO 13975:2012 [37]sludge, livestock faeces or other organic wastedirect exposure to inoculum; anaerobic35 ± 3 or 55 ± 5CO2 and CH4 evolution, DICb; static test conditionsmax. three months2greater than 70% degradation of reference material after 15 days; extent of degradation (%) must differ by <20% between replicates
BS EN ISO 14853:2016 [38]digested or laboratory-prepared sludgesynthetic; anaerobic35 ± 2CO2 and CH4 evolution, DICb; static test conditionsmax. three monthsmin. 3greater than 70% degradation of reference material; pH of medium must remain between 6 and 8
  • aBiological oxygen demand.

  • bDissolved inorganic carbon.