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OK COMPOST: the new challenge of TÜV AUSTRIA Group


TÜV AUSTRIA Group, an international testing, inspection and certification company which offers certification services in the areas of quality, energy, environment, safety and product, acquired in December 2017 the brand and the certification scheme OK COMPOST conceived by Belgian body Vinçotte NV. TÜV AUSTRIA Group has expanded its expertise significantly in the fields of product certification which labels bio-based, biodegradable and compostable products.


TÜV AUSTRIA Italia – Blu Solutions S.r.l

Following the recent introduction of the legal provisions referred to in art. 9-bis of the Decree-Law of 20 of June 2017, n. 91 (Urgent provisions for economic growth in the South), as converted into law by law 3 of August 2017, n. 123 , in implementation of the obligations contained in the 2015/720 / EU Directive regarding the reduction of the use of plastic bags, various erroneous and contradictory information has been circulated on the market regarding the compostability of the aforementioned ultra-light bags.

The law provides that these bags must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Biodegradable and compostable (according to UNI EN 13432);
  • with a minimum renewable raw material content of at least 40% (which must become 50% from January 1, 2020 and 60% from January 1st, 2021 onwards) determined according to the UNI CEN / TS standard;
  • be suitable for food use (suitability obtained by the manufacturer from specific analysis laboratories);
  • distributed upon payment.
By means of this law, the state, as a protector for the consumer and the environment, requires the producer of such bags to be controlled by a third party, in order to verify the actual compostability of the product placed on the market in compliance with the UNI EN 13432 standard referred to from the same law. This certification must be issued by a third party which operates in compliance with the requirements of integrity, impartiality and independence, such as TÜV AUSTRIA. Precisely for this reason, TÜV AUSTRIA has no legal connection with the producers of these bags others than a commercial one as certifier and with large distribution, guaranteeing the utmost seriousness, professionalism and independence in carrying out their activities.
 

Certification Procedures


The environment and sustainability are in TÜV AUSTRIA Group´s DNA. The integration of Vinçotte Italy has further strengthened the group´s commitment to environmental issues and the sustainable human activities. TÜV AUSTRIA is your partner for the certificates of environmental compliance.

To obtain the OK COMPOST certification, the product must meet stringent requirements as per UNI EN 13432 and be subjected to accurate laboratory analysis.

OK COMPOST is also the result of more than 20 years of research and development as well as analysis, census and cataloging of the materials constituting the bags, thus creating one of the most extensive international database in the sector.
Moreover the percentage of 40% indicated in the law is not relative to compostability, but to the minimum content of renewable raw material.

However, the compostability of the bag must always be guaranteed, irrespective to the level of content of the renewable raw material. In fact, there are compostable bags made without the use of renewable raw material. Italy has chosen a more virtuous road in an environmental sense, compared to covering compostability only, inserting a further restriction on the renewability of raw materials constituted (the above said 40%).

The minimum content of renewable matter can be declared directly by the manufacturer which makes use of specialized laboratories which are able to analyze and measure the quantity of renewable source present in the product.


 

Vinçotte, before and today TÜV AUSTRIA, carry out their role as a third party and objective body with the utmost seriousness regarding the effective compostability of the bags, compliance with the European reference standard (UNI EN 13432) and the fight against counterfeiting. In fact, we were and are engaged in the front line to support the competent authorities in market surveillance, carrying out cross-checks and analyzing samples taken from the market.


 

Ing. Crescenzo Di Fratta
Chief Executive Officer
TÜV AUSTRIA ITALIA


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