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Self-adhesive Materials for Biodegradable Labels: Highest Environmental Standard for Packaging Achieved

Photo courtesy of HERMA via iStock/Ade Theou

Two HERMA self-adhesive label materials that can be composted at home and in the garden have now also passed the critical earthworm toxicity test in accordance with the Australian standard AS 5810 – an outstanding performance. This is because when it comes to the composting of packaging materials at home and in the garden, this standard is ostensibly the gold standard. It is considered the highest environmental standard for packaging worldwide due to its strict requirements.

 “This means that HERMA offers probably the only self-adhesive materials at present that comply with this standard,” says Dr. Stefan Kissling, Head of Development of Adhesives and Special Coatings for HERMA's Self-Adhesive Materials Division.

The certification was obtained through the DIN CERTCO institute, a subsidiary of TÜV Rheinland. The basis for this is the new adhesive 62Q, which HERMA launched at the start of the year. The certification applies in conjunction with the two label materials HERMAextracoat (grade 242) and HERMAtherm Bio (grade 909). Soil toxicity is excluded with the earthworm test in accordance with the Australian standard. Compost worms (lat. Eisenia fetida), one of the most common types of earthworms in Europe, and white worms (Enchytraeus albidus), often used as live food, are used as “testers”. If after 14 days there was a difference of more than 10 percent in the morbidity or average weight of the surviving worms between the sample compost and the pure compost, this criterion was not met.

Other elements of the Australian standard comply with the international standard NF T51-800:2015. This means that specific limits for volatile substances, heavy metals and fluorine must not be exceeded. The complete biodegradability, compostability and ecotoxicity was also checked. The two HERMA self-adhesive materials already met these requirements previously and were therefore already able to bear the label "DIN geprüft – gartenkompostierbar" (“DIN tested – compostable in the garden”) – at least outside of Australia and New Zealand. Now the certification also applies for these two countries.

“However, the additional certification also confirms once again the high composting quality of the adhesive 62Q and provides additional assurance for label users, who attach particular importance to sustainable packaging materials,” stresses Dr. Stefan Kissling from HERMA.

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