SISTERS packaging under home compostability assessment and validation

The SISTERS project is developing packaging solutions with reduced potential negative impacts in the environment thanks to their HOME-COMPOSTABLE performances.

The biodegradation test is a chemical process that allows us to quantify to what extent and how fast specific microorganisms are available to convert organic materials into natural substances such as water, carbon dioxide and other substances in a composting substrate. This process of biodegradation depends on the surrounding environmental conditions (location or temperature), the specific material (polymer and components) and the application.

In SISTERS, some initial materials were tested and graphs of the percentage of biodegradability were obtained. These graphs are indicated in the image: all tested samples reached and exceeded 90% biodegradability within 1 year as prescribed by the scheme.

In relation to the disintegration test, the thickness of the final packaging is the main characteristic which affects the result. More than 90% of the final packaging must be reduced into pieces smaller than 2 mm within six months at ambient temperature. If the test passes, the packaging is certified for the tested thickness and lower.


Finally, also ecotoxicity test is conducted in order to evaluate the potential toxicity of residuals in the final composted material of disintegration tests: these can potentially inhibit the germination or growth of the plant. In the pictures, the plant toxicity test is shown by using Barley and Cress as representative plants.


More packaging samples and final demonstrators are going to be analysed to achieve the certification of these SISTERS food packaging… stay tuned!