The Australian Government National Plastics Plan published in 2021 undertook to “Phase out plastic packaging products with additive fragmentable technology that do not meet relevant compostable standards (AS4736-2006, AS5810-2010 and EN13432)(July 2022)’’. This was taken to include so called biodegradable and compostable products. In effect, this inferred equivalence of EN13432 to the Australian Standards.

In discussion with the office of the Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, our President with support from the ABA Executive requested that only AS4736 – 2006 and AS5810-2010 should apply as EN13432 is not equivalent to either AS4736-2006 or AS5810-2010, both of which are more stringent with an additional worm toxicity test which was considered absolutely necessary by the working groups that wrote both Australian Standards, to protect Australia’s agricultural and horticultural soils.

We are pleased to advise that the National Plastics Plan has now been revised. Please visit the site http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/waste/plastics-and-packaging/national-plastics-plan where you find the following footnote.

*Please note that since the release of the Plastics Plan the home and industrial compostable standards have been updated to reflect the Australian Standard determined by the Australasian Bioplastics Association verification scheme. The phase out listed on page 5 of the Plastics Plan should now read:

  • Phase out plastic packaging products with additive fragmentable technology that do not meet relevant compostable standards (AS4736-2006 and AS5810-2010) (July 2022)

 

The ABA is working to have the term industrial compostable changed to commercial compostable and the term Australian Bioplastics Association changed to Australasian Bioplastics Association.

The welcomed change protects and enhances the investment in and commitment to the ABA verification programme by members and others in having their products verified to the requirements of AS4736-2006 and AS5810-2010, the awarding of a Certificate of Conformance and optional licensed use of the ABA logos. The Australian Government National Plastics Plan makes it clear that only the Australian Standards are relevant for the organics recycling of plastics packaging. The benefits of having a Certificate of Conformance to the requirements of the Australian Standards issued by the ABA are demonstrated by this support in the Australian Government National Plastics Plan.