The Auvergne-based start-up Carbiolice has developed Evanesto®, an enzymated additive that, when added to the manufacture of plant-based plastic packaging made from PLA*, makes it 100% compostable even in domestic conditions. The introduction of this additive will allow films containing 33% PLA to be certified “OK compost HOME” by the TÜV AUSTRIA Group, a worldwide certification reference.
After 4 years of research and development and thanks to the exclusive license granted by Carbios, Carbiolice has developed an additive called Evanesto®, which, when added to the vegetable plastic (PLA*), makes it compostable even in domestic conditions. Previously compostable only under industrial conditions, Carbiolice’s innovation increases the possibilities of recycling PLA plastic waste.
Thanks to the introduction of Evanesto® at the time of manufacturing of PLA-based plastic products, packaging films, lids, and soon yoghurt cups, trays, … which are today difficult to recycle, will be able to biodegrade completely in industrial or domestic composts.
After a series of tests on product lines and studies with certified organizations, Carbiolice is currently launching on the market its revolutionary solution that solves the problem of the end-of-life of PLA-based plastics.
The first additive allowing PLA-rich films to be certified “OK compost HOME”.
TÜV AUSTRIA, world leader in the certification of bioplastics, offers environmental marks of product conformity in the form of a certification label adapted to different biodegradation environments. The OK compost HOME certification guarantees complete biodegradation under the particular conditions of home composting. Constraints such as a lower and less constant temperature of the compost bin in a garden make home composting more difficult and slower than in an industrial composting center.
This is therefore the first time that a solution has been provided to enable plastics with a high PLA content to achieve this certification: until now, only products containing less than 10% PLA could potentially meet the requirements of the OK compost HOME certification program. By accelerating the biodegradation process, Evanesto® now allows products richer in polylactic acid to obtain this certification.
Precisely, the finished product containing Evanesto® can be certified if it is integrated at a minimum concentration of 5% into a film containing 33% PLA and a maximum thickness of 60 µm for monolayer films and 30 µm for multilayer films.
The close collaboration between TÜV AUSTRIA and Carbiolice will allow industrials and manufacturers of finished products to facilitate their own OK compost HOME certification process when their products (packaging films, salad bags, lids…) contain Evanesto®.
This collaboration has also enabled the implementation of a method that meets TÜV AUSTRIA’s need to control the conformity of products on the market. Thus, it will be possible to quickly validate samples by performing depolymerization tests in an accelerated way. This method, developed for 4 years by Carbiolice, has just been implemented in a French laboratory, accredited by the COFRAC (French Accreditation Committee) – Laboratories section – on its Chemistry, Metallurgy and Environment departments. This method consists in dissolving a sample of finished product under controlled conditions (pH, temperature…) to simulate the degradation of the material in a domestic composting environment by measuring the depolymerization of PLA into lactic acid by HPLC. Only 5 to 20 days will be necessary to validate the conformity of the finished products.
Household composting: soon an obligation
Following the French law on energy transition and green growth (LTECV) of 2015, and the European Directive n°2018/851 of May 30, 2018: every household will have to sort its bio-waste by December 31, 2023 at the latest. Local authorities will therefore have to provide a specific sorting solution: the production of compost that can be used to fertilize green spaces or sold to businesses and individuals.
According to ADEME**, there are 254 kg/year of residual household waste per inhabitant in France, including 83 kg of fermentable waste and 37 kg of plastics. By recovering its bio-waste and domestically compostable plastics, it will therefore be possible to reduce by half the current volume of our grey garbage cans. The challenge now lies in the implementation of a simple labeling, which will allow the consumer to identify which products can be introduced with the bio-waste.