Who is ASTM?
ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organization that develops and publishes technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services, ensuring consistency, comparability, and reliability of results. It is one of the world’s largest and most well-known standards development organizations.
ASTM standards are developed through a consensus process that involves experts from industry, academia, government, and other relevant stakeholders. The standards aim to facilitate trade, improve product quality, and enhance safety by establishing common benchmarks and practices. Its standards are used and recognized beyond the United States.
*ASTM D5526 Standard Test Method for Determining Anaerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under Accelerated Landfill Conditions*
The ASTM D5526 test mimics the most common landfill conditions. Glove samples are placed in three different, oxygen-free simulated landfill environments with varying amounts of solid waste at a constant temperature—called wet, moderate, and dry conditions. The break down of these samples is measured over time until the test ends after a requested number of days, or no further decay is measured. The break down of the glove is then measured as a percentage difference between the remaining solid material and the original material.
SW’s Ecotek Gloves
Certified by GreenCircle for its Biodegradable Claims
• GreenCircle provides unbiased third-party certification for sustainable products. A highly respected leader in establishing environmental and sustainability standards, their certification ensures that consumers genuinely buy sustainable and verified product claims.
Real-time Test Data
• Ecotek gloves were tested until they completed, with a rate of 92.6% in two and half years. Per ASTM D5526, the claim shall be limited to the actual test result and shall not be extrapolated past the exact duration of the test.
No Toxic Residues
• As part of SW’s ecological risk assessment, Ecotek gloves remaining organic residuals were further tested and confirmed to be non-toxic.
• Federal Trade Commission’s Green Guide is designed to help marketers avoid making environmental claims that mislead consumers. A biodegradable claim must be backed by competent and reliable scientific evidence that prominently displays the rate & extent of biodegradation and the customary environmental disposal.
• Only uncontaminated gloves can be sent to landfill. Medical and hazardous wastes are regulated and likely incinerated, treated, or neutralized and disposed of in landfills.
Ecotek Gloves and Microplastics Concerns
• Tiny plastic particles.
• Less than 5mm in size.
• Resulting from the breakdown of more oversized plastic items.
Most commonly found in degraded plastic packaging and the microbeads used in cosmetic products. This breakdown is triggered by UV radiation from sunlight and oxygen in the environment. These types of plastics are often claimed as “Oxo-degradable plastics.”
Nitrile, or nitrile butadiene rubber (NBR), is not a plastic but a synthetic rubber elastomer. Hence there is no risk of the generation of “microplastics” from Nitrile gloves, and microplastics is an irrelevant and misleading term regarding Nitrile gloves.
Unlike oxo-degradable plastics, nitrile gloves will not degrade and fragment due to exposure to oxygen and UV radiation (sunlight). SW Ecotek Nitrile gloves will break down in 2.5 years when adequately disposed of in a landfill. Ecotek Nitrile gloves will be consumed by the microorganisms (bacteria) in landfills, whereas plastics will only degrade into microplastics since the bacteria cannot destroy them.