Biodegradability for a holistic view of sustainability.
A holistic view of sustainability focuses not only on manufacturing and product safety, but also on the fate in the environment after the end of the product life cycle. Once a textile has become obsolete, it can be put back into the cycle as a second-hand product, through downcycling, as an upcycling product or through recycling. Otherwise it will be disposed of - through thermal recycling and landfilling or, in the worst case, in the environment. To ensure that products are biodegradable and do not leave any traces that are negative for the environment, Hohenstein has developed a test specifically for textile products.
Hohenstein test for the biodegradation of textiles
The biodegradation (biodegradability) test established by Hohenstein assesses the degradation of textile products over a defined test period and through controlled soil burial. The test is based on international standards, which are used to determine the rotting and degradation behaviour of materials.
In this way, you can transparently communicate the environmental impact of your textiles to the outside after the end of use - demonstrating that your responsibility spans the entire usage cycle.
The Hohenstein test setup was developed in accordance with the following standards:
- DIN EN ISO 11721-1: Textiles - Determination of resistance of cellulose-containing textiles to micro-organisms - Soil burial test - Part 1: Assessment of rot-retardant finishing
- DIN EN ISO 846: Plastics - Evaluation of the action of microorganisms on plastics
- The mass loss of the textile:
the decay process of a product by micro-organisms like fungi and bacteria in combination with oxygen in the soil is examined.
- The ecotoxicological safety of the textile:
cress and earthworm tests are used to test the impact on the environment.
We carry out the tests under defined laboratory conditions, with incubation in standardised test containers under constant climatic conditions.
We test in standardised test soil under aerobic conditions, whereby the biological activity is monitored using a reference sample.
Sampling and sample cleaning are carried out after three defined excavation dates (these can be set differently depending on the product).
The evaluation of the tests is carried out after a specified test period on the basis of the degradation rate of the test samples by means of a qualitative evaluation of the sample material by determining the mass loss.
Furthermore, we check the environmental compatibility or environmental pollution by the degradation products by means of ecotoxicological tests and can optionally supplement these with chemical analyses.
- Objective measurement of biodegradability in soil under natural conditions
- Verification of marketing claims
- Product optimisation on the basis of our results
- Labelling of biodegradable textile products by a Hohenstein Quality Label (B2C) or by a Hohenstein certificate (B2B)
- Determination of the risks of your product for the environment