Certified Compostable Testing at Situ Biosciences
Quality Assurance has little meaning without valid testing. Compostability performance is no different. Like any other product, compostable products and their associated performance claims need to be substantiated and backed up by valid scientific test results.
Based on standard industrial methods including ASTM D6400, certified compostable products assure end-customers of the quality of the product. Test progress can be fit to the needs of the customer requirements or production runs.
Certified Compostable Testing at Situ Biosciences provides this assurance to both producers and end-customers. The manufacturer can use standard quality control procedures to deliver a consistent, quality product; the end-customer can be assured that they’re purchasing a high-quality product that will meet the regulatory and market requirements, time after time.
Certification as Current Quality Control
As a compostable product test laboratory, we are often asked to verify products claiming compostability. The concern is not only the validity of the claim, as in whether the result is correct or not. It is also a concern about the length of time from when the product was first tested to when the sale is being made. Just because a product ‘passed’ a test 3-4 years ago does not mean it is the same product being sold today.
Meeting the requirements of the test once, a long time ago, is not the same as showing continual compliance. Input materials change, manufacturing process and sites change and the results which may have been valid some time ago may not reflect the current batch.
Certification serves as a time-based quality control record, an assurance of compliance to a method. It’s an up to date demonstration of the product’s performance which, from our lab, provides the end-customer with results that are less than a year old. These results are also provided by the same lab that tested the product and not a third party intermediate.
The concept is straight forward – if the formulation, manufacturing process and input materials stay the same, the results from test to test should stay consistent. Saying this is one thing; demonstrating this with valid scientific results is another.
Assurance where (and when) its needed
Certification of the end-product as it’s delivered to the customer assures the whole of the product’s supply chain. Testing each step is important during R&D; once in production however, the customer needs to be assured that what they are buying is compliant to the method or regulation at the time of purchase and not just at some time in the past.
If the results change, then an analysis can be made of which component may have contributed to the new results. If the result stays the same, batch after batch, there’s less of need to test the entire supply chain as the end-product continues to meet the test requirement.
At Situ Biosciences, we minimize the paperwork and include the entire certification process, from technical guidance to the certificate itself, in the price and duration of the testing. In as little as 6 months, your product can be certified compostable – in some cases depending on the results in even less time.
Time is something most product managers don’t have. Additional effort and overhead spent on administrative requirements from voluntary certification programs can interfere with the product’s launch.