UL Environment has revised its third-party standard for biodegradable garbage and retail bags.
Oxo-degradable and oxobiodegradable films are not allowed to certify to the standard, "as the environmental impacts of these products degradation in the environment are still largely unknown," UL Environment said in a May 1 news release.
The standard, UL 126, includes testing requirements for biodegradability claims, an updated section on recycled content, and new criteria for socially and environmentally responsible manufacturing.
The standard also requires that certified plastic film not contain intentionally-added hazardous heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium.
"Manufacturers of plastic bags, as well as retailers that use plastic bags, are facing increased scrutiny as customers demand more environmentally responsible goods and as the Federal Trade Commission tightens its Green Guide rulings on claims of recycled content and biodegradability," says Angela Griffiths, head of operations at UL Environment, in a news release.
"The revised UL Environment standard for plastic film products now provides manufacturers and retailers with a credible means to back their environmental claims and receive recognition for their progress."
UL Environment is a business unit of Northbrook-based Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
UL 126 is applicable to plastic bags used for garbage, groceries, and retail shopping, as well as industrial sacks, liners, and agricultural films, among others.
Plastics News is a sister publication of Waste & Recycling News.