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Two New Standards on Degradable Plastics Implemented from June 1 in China

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The State Administration of Market Regulation and the State Standardization Administration announced that two national recommended standards, namely the “Degradability and Identification Requirements of Biodegradable Plastics and Products” (GB/T 41010-2021) and the “Biodegradable Drinking Straws” (GB/T 41008-2021), shall be implemented from June 1, 2022.

Based on the characteristics of biodegradable plastics and products, the GB/T 41010-2021 focuses the production, use, and supervision needs, and defines the terms such as biodegradation and biodegradation rate, and stipulates requirements on degradation performance, identification and relevant test methods, while the GB/T 41008-2021 prescribes specific provisions for degradable plastic products.

According to the GB/T 41010-2021, the text identification of biodegradable plastics and products may include the following information:

a) Materials;

b) Degradation environmental conditions;

c) Basis of the product standard or degradation test method standard;

d) Product name.

Graphic identification may contain:

a) Materials;

b) Degradation environmental conditions, including: soil degradable; compostable degradation; degradation in marine environment; degradation in freshwater environment; anaerobic digestion of sludge; high solid anaerobic digestion.

c) Product standard code;

d) Product name.


These new regulations also make restrictions on toxic and harmful substances such as heavy metals and substances of very high concern (SVHC) to prevent the emission of toxic and harmful substances when degradable materials are exposed to the environment.

The announcement and implementation of these two standards are conducive to standardizing the production, use, sale and application of biodegradable plastics and products, and identifying the authenticity of biodegradable plastic products in a quick manner. The formulation of these standards is beneficial to improve the standardization of plastic pollution control and further promote the standard development of the biodegradable products industry by playing an active role in supporting the work of controlling plastic pollution.

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Further Information

GB/T 41010-2021

GB/T 41008-2021