Compostability Certificates | Because We Care Australia

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A substitute for plastic

At Because We Care Australia, our priority is to educate on compostable products and provide a viable substitute to common plastics. Our focus on an environmentally friendly lifestyle has seen us develop world-leading bioplastics that meet international standards of compostability.

One of the most visible and promising solutions are bioplastics. As bioplastics are not readily distinguishable from regular plastics, it is necessary to provide a mechanism ensuring their quality and labelling. This is done through a system of standardisation and certification.

Among the few truly biodegradable products in Australia

Did you know our products are one of only a handful of certified compostable products in Australia? Yep, that’s right. Because We Care Australia products are recognised by the Australasian Bioplastics Association for how well they decompose when placed in a home or commercial composting facility. Rest assured, they’ve been tried and tested and will decompose in less than 180 days.

Our certifications

Here’s a quick run-down on how standards of biodegradability work. Globally, there are a number of certifications which recognise the level compostability a product has. There’s been a lot of misleading information about “green plastics”, therefore, a standardisation has been developed in various global regions. Many of these certifications are region-specific to cover localised requirements and bio-management programs. A certificate distinguishes bioplastics from traditional plastics and proves that the material conforms to standard compostability requirements.

We don’t mean to boast, but Because We Care Australia products are not only certified home compostable (AS5810) and commercially compostable (AS4736) in Australia, but they also meet the standards for Europe and North America. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the print used on our bags is soy and water based and is also certified eco-friendly.

Alongside our compostability credentials, we also take the quality of our products, environmental management and the occupational health and safety of our people very seriously. We’re proud to say our factory meets the international benchmark for systems and workplace standards, and we’ve got the certifications to prove it.

Certifications for our systems & workplace standards

Our manufacturing workshop (where our suite of eco-products is produced) complies with global standards for best practice, as outlined by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). We also maintain a rigorous health and safety policy in line with the international OHSAS to protect our workers from risk.

• ISO 9001:2015 - Certified for quality management systems that meet customer and statutory regulations and enhance customer satisfaction.
• ISO 14001:2015 - Certified to meet requirements for an environmental management system and enhanced environmental performance.
• OHSAS 18001:2007 - Certified to meet the international standard in Occupational Health and Safety Management.

In a nutshell, these accreditations provide confidence that our products are safe, reliable and of an exceptional quality.

What do the certificate numbers mean?

With so many confusing certification numbers and letters, it can be hard to know what it all means. Here’s a handy glossary of bioplastic certificates.

• AS4736 (2006) – Australasian Bioplastics Association Australian Standard. For commercial compostability levels.
• AS5810 (2010) – Australasia. Home compost certified.

In addition to standard levels of compostability, these two Australian certifications have an additional testing requirement, known as the ‘worm test’. After the primary compost tests, the remaining compost is put through a series of worm tests to determine the quality of the compost. The test is successful if the worms placed into the compost grow in size and number.

• EN13432 (2000) – European Certification. This was the first certification for compostable products and is still one of the most widely recognised management programs.

• OK bio-based – Austria. An independent, high-quality guarantee of the renewability of raw materials. Because We Care Australia products have been certified as four-star bio-base - the highest percentage of bio standard.

• ASTM D6400 (2004) – Biodegradable Products Institute in North American. The second of the global certifications, this is also a standard specification for compostable material biodegradation.

• BNQ 0017-988 (2010) – Standards Council of Canada. Certification requirements, rules of procedures and marking requirements for compostable products.

Products with these certification logos confirm the product’s material properties and quality. They also enable a simpler sorting of waste and correct handling when disposed of at composting facilities.