Marine degradation

Plastics used for specific marine products, such as fishing nets, lines, and baits, can inevitably end up in the ocean. Biodegradability of these materials offers enormous benefits to prevent damage to ecosystems and the environment. At Normec OWS, we offer different types of marine degradation testing for different materials in sea water, as well as testing for heavy metals & fluorine and toxicity, all in accordance with the available standards.

Real-life conditions

Marine degradation test results can be used for certification purposes, making marketing or legal claims, or for supporting research & development. The only available certificate, the European OK biodegradable MARINE certificate, issued by TÜV AUSTRIA, requires biodegradation and disintegration testing in sea water, as well as toxicity and heavy metals & fluorine testing. Due to the formation of biofilms, however, plastics eventually sink to the sea floor, where they may be exposed to completely different bacterial compositions.

As Normec OWS is always on top of the latest developments, we also offer additional degradation testing in the sediment-seawater interface and in sediment.

Marine water with plastic

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Biodegradation testing

The certification requirement for biodegradation in seawater (pelagic zone), in accordance with the ASTM D6691 standard, is 90% carbon to CO2 conversion to be reached within six months.

We offer additional biodegradation testing in the sediment-seawater interface (eulittoral zone), in accordance with ISO 19679 and ISO 18830, and in sediment (benthic zone), in accordance with ISO 22404.

Besides certification conditions, we also offer testing under screening conditions. This applies in cases of early research and when results will only be used internally. Multiple sample discounts are offered if several samples need to be tested in parallel.

To accurately mimic real-life conditions, we retrieve water and sediment from the North Sea to ensure the right inoculum, mixed with minerals as described in the relevant standards.

Disintegration testing

For certification purposes, using quantitative testing under certification conditions, 90% disintegration is required in 12 weeks for the pelagic zone, as stipulated in the ASTM D6691 standard. Since the disintegration of the material is affected by UV light and heat, we also offer additional quantitative disintegration testing for the eulittoral and benthic zones, in accordance with ISO 23832.

Furthermore, we offer qualitative testing, under screening conditions, that shows how a product breaks down, which can be used to test the effect of different product thicknesses.

reactor water

Toxicity testing

Any toxic effect of residuals left behind after biodegradation could potentially have a negative effect on the marine ecosystem. Besides testing for heavy metals and fluorine, as required for certification purposes, we offer different toxicity tests. The Daphnia Magna Toxicity Test, in accordance with the OPPTS 850.1010 standard, evaluates any toxic effect.

This can be performed on different kinds of material, as well as intermediates, final products, inks, adhesives, varnishes, masterbatches, and additives.

Furthermore, at Normec OWS we are working on developing new test methods, such as methods using marine algae and other marine micro- and meso-organisms.

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Latest news

Meet us at the European Bioplastics Conference 2023

Meet us at the European Bioplastics Conference 2023

The European Bioplastics Conference 2023 will take place on 12 – 13 December 2023, at the Titanic Hotel in Berlin, Germany.

Normec OWS receives renewal of DIN CERTCO certification

Normec OWS receives renewal of DIN CERTCO certification

Normec OWS has successfully renewed its DIN CERTCO certificates, solidifying its position as an esteemed independent testing laboratory.

Normec OWS helping to tackle pollution(s)

Normec OWS helping to tackle pollution(s)

Recently, Bruno De Wilde had the privilege of sitting down with PortNews, the leading magazine for all things North Sea Port.

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