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Biodegradable and compostable plastic bags are replacing older more polluting products.

Testing offers proof that claims are true delivering benefits to retailers, manufacturers, consumers and the environment.

Potential Risks

If manufacturers, retailers and other organizations make unsubstantiated claims about the use of biodegradable and/or compostable plastics, they risk the potential costs and reputational damage of a legal challenge. The situation is made more complicated by the fact that different countries and regions have their own regulatory requirements and guidelines.

Third Party Testing

To reduce the complexity and the risk, SGS provides worldwide third-party testing services that are trusted throughout the industry – and by international consumers. The independent results provided by SGS help to reassure people that synthetic polymers manufactured from processed petrochemicals, or unacceptable fillers and additives, have not been used.

This is more than just good PR for a company: it has a beneficial impact on the environment too. That’s because testing ensures that plastics containing undesirable additives – such as heavy metals, plasticizers and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) – are used less, and this reduces the levels of poison that can enter the world’s land and water.

Global Capabilities

SGS employs a range of testing methods for biodegradable and/or compostable plastics and ensures compliance with the regulations relevant to the European Union, United States of America and elsewhere. To discover more about these methods, and the relevant international regulations, please download SGS’s Get Proof on Your Plastics – And Stay Legal (PDF 1.26 MB).

Alternatively, please contact your local SGS office.

HingWo Tsang, Ph.D.
Global Information and Innovation Manager
SGS Hong Kong Limited
t: +852 2774 7420


SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 85,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,800 offices and laboratories around the world.