Recent investment in its testing laboratory totalling over £500,000 has enabled Impact Solutions to become the only accredited laboratory in the UK for testing material biodegradability to EN13432 and associated standards.
Sustainable waste management has been in the spotlight for a while now. Within recent years there has been a surge of products offering “biodegradable” or “compostable” options to reduce the pressure on landfill sites. With many biodegradable plastics now being applied in a diverse range of applications, like those of conventional plastics, they offer an alternative solution to many single or short-term use applications, including use within the agricultural and horticultural sectors as mulch film or plant-pots along with food packaging.
As most biodegradable polymers are made from renewable feedstocks, this provides unique properties in specific applications and can offer additional advantages during use and/or at end-of-life disposal. Like other plastics in common use, biodegradable plastics are suitable for several recovery options when such products come to the end of life. With demand rising, and the introduction of more sophisticated biopolymers, applications, and products, the market is progressively evolving and growing. Currently, bioplastics represent about 1% of approximately 360 million tonnes of plastic produced annually; therefore, a lot of progress is still to be made.
As Impact Solutions continually identifies gaps in the market, it has taken the business decision to invest to date in excess of £500,000 to develop a test facility for the ultimate biodegradation of biodegradable and compostable materials. This expansion enables them to develop the analytical side of the laboratory further and enables the biodegradation test facility to perform to EN13432 and all associated standards.
Michael Thompson, Technical Manager at Impact Solutions, commented:
“An extension to the scope of our ISO 17025 UKAS accreditation means that Impact Solutions will be the only UK accredited laboratory for testing of the ultimate biodegradation.”
Impact Solutions prides itself on not being your ordinary UKAS approved testing laboratory. Instead, Impact Solutions takes time to understand its clients’ needs and ‘develop bespoke testing’ methods. By working closely with its clients, Impact Solutions can expand the boundaries of possibilities in material testing and overcome new market and client challenges.
As part of the added value service that Impact Solutions offers, they have open ‘ask the expert’ forums to advise on biodegradation standards and collaborate on grant funding applications. Impact Solutions is now also capable of looking at the carbon to nitrogen ratio of soil and other materials.
If there is a project in mind or you want advice on biodegradation standards and how to achieve certification, Impact Solutions is ready and able to help.