This document specifies test methods and criteria for showing intrinsic biodegradability in marine environments of virgin plastic materials and polymers without any preliminary environmental exposure or pre-treatment.
Test methods applied in this document are carried out at temperatures in the mesophilic range under aerobic conditions and are aimed to show ultimate biodegradability, i.e. conversion into carbon dioxide, water and biomass.
This document neither assesses the constituents, such as regulated metals or substances hazardous to the environment, nor potential ecotoxic effects but intrinsic biodegradability only. These aspects will be considered in a separate standard covering the overall environmental impact of products intentionally or accidentally released in the marine environment.
This document does not cover the performance of products made from biodegradable plastic materials and biodegradable polymers. Lifetime and biodegradation rates in the sea of products made with biodegradable plastic materials are generally affected by the specific environmental conditions and by thickness and shape.
Although results might indicate that the tested plastic materials and polymers biodegrade under the specified test conditions at a certain rate, the results of any laboratory exposure cannot be directly extrapolated to marine environments at the actual site of use or leakage.
This document is not applicable for "marine biodegradable" claims of biodegradable plastic materials. For such purpose, see relevant product standards, if available.
The testing scheme specified in this document does not provide sufficient information for determining the specific biodegradation rate (i.e. the rate per available surface area) of the material under testing. For such purpose, see relevant standards about specific biodegradation rate, if available.