Officially certified: 100% biobased carbon content!
We are proud to present to you the latest in our certificate collection: DIN Geprüft biobased product! With this certificat, the test institute DIN CERTO confirmed that traceless® base material contains 100% biobased carbon content. An independent proof that traceless is fully plant-based making use of renewable resources, and does not contain fossils! Learn more about the background info and get some further insights by traceless' certificate expert Hande in this blogpost.
Achieving the highest available certificate level
traceless® has successfully passed the tests by institute DIN CERTO according to their certification scheme “Biobased Products” (in accordance with ASTM D 6866 and/or ISO 16620, Parts 1-3). The corresponding certificate and label “DIN Geprüft biobased” is granted in 3 levels, according to the proportion of biobased carbon content. With a result of 100% biobased carbon content, traceless® material achieved the seal in the highest available level, which is “biobased > 85%”.
“The certification mark “DIN-Geprüft“ creates consumer confidence, by proving that an independent, neutral and competent body has carefully examined and assessed the product on the basis of the test criteria.” Quoted from Certification scheme, available at the website of DIN CERTO
Ask the expert: Hande
What does “biobased” actually mean, what does it have to do with sustainability, and how does the test exactly work? Let’s get some further insights on these questions from our expert for certificates - traceless’ Application Engineer Hande Saltik! Hande has a masters degree in Polymer Material Science, and has been a part of our Product Development group since January 2022, among others accountable for certificates, like this one or the certicficate flustix plastic-free.
First of all: What does it mean - “biobased”?
Biobased is the opposite of fossil-based, and it means: A material is based on resources originated from organisms that lived recently, so for example plants or animals. In the case of traceless®, these organisms were agricultural plants. Another term for these resources is “renewable resources”.
“Organisms that lived recently” - why is this important? Well, fossil resources also originated from organic material, but these organisms lived thousands of years ago and were subsequently deposited in the earth in the form of fossil material. When we use these resources and burn them, we suddenly release carbon that has accumulated over a long period of time and cannot be bound again so quickly - with the known consequence of climate change. In contrast to that, biobased or renewable resources grew recently, and can also be regrown in a short time frame, and take up new carbon. That’s why these biobased resources are also referred to as “renewable”.
So, a material that is biobased is more sustainable? Looking at the carbon cycle, yes! However, it is important to also consider other indicators. Many biobased materials use biomass like starch as a resource, which is also a source for human food - that is why the EU has recently clarified in a policy framework paper that biomass should be sourced sustainably to avoid potential food conflicts. Following this principle, at traceless we use plant residues of the agricultural industry - a side stream that is already there in big amounts, and does not cause additional demand regarding agricultural land or water.
Can you tell us more about the tests that were done?
The test scheme by DIN CERTO contains two main tests for which minimum requirements have to be fulfilled - one for biobased carbon content, and one for volatile solids, so organic matter. The biobased carbon content indicates how much of the total organic carbon originates from renewable resources. In the case of traceless® material, the result was: 100% biobased carbon.
On the label, it says >85% biobased - why not 100%? Well, to be honest we were also a bit disappointed when we learned that apparently, this is the highest possible level that is available so far! This again shows that current standards were created for bioplastics, that often contain only a small percentage of biobased content, and not for biomaterials like traceless that go a step further.
How does the test for biobased carbon content work? The test is based on the principle of dating that we talked about before, and provides age estimates for carbon-based materials. The method is also called “carbon dating”, or “Carbon 14 dating”, and is an established procedure for determining the age of carbon based materials. The principle behind: the proportion of 14C, an isotope of carbon, decreases continuously over time. Measuring its proportion therefore gives information about the age of the carbon. If the test finds old carbon in the material, it means it is fossil-based. If it is young, it means that renewable resources have been used.
Does this certificate also say that traceless® is biodegradable?
While traceless is both biobased and biodegradable, this is not necessarily the case for all biobased materials. Some of them are biobased, but not biodegradable, and vice versa. That is why there are separate certificates for these two aspects, and the one above is just about the biobased aspect. We are already in the process of obtaining a certificate regarding compostability, too! This test needs even more time as long-term effects are tested, that is why it takes a little longer until the certificate is finally issued - but I’m confident we will have news for that one soon, too.
…So, we will stay tuned for more news here. Thank you, Hande!
More information about the certificate can be found on the website of DIN CERTO:
More traceless' certificates traceless is certified plastic-free! Learn more about this in our blospost flustix plastic-free.