The new site will augment the laboratory located at the headquarters of OWS’s parent company, Organic Waste Systems NV, in Gent, Belgium, which is currently undergoing a thirty percent capacity expansion to be completed by the end of 2020, bringing total capacity to more than 3,000 test reactors.
“We are seeing unprecedented growth in the development of biodegradable polymers and compostable products,” said Richard Tillinger, general manager of OWS’s North American business unit. “Both large and small companies are developing new materials and finished products to replace conventional plastics, particularly single-use plastics in food serviceware and food packaging. Other companies are researching new products to comply with recent legislation regarding products that can contribute to the issue of microplastics in the environment.”
OWS is a strictly independent testing laboratory with more than 30 years of experience in the field of biodegradability and compostability testing, tallying 12,500+ materials for 1500+ clients all over the world – including the most renowned producers of biodegradable and compostable resins, intermediates and finished products. Products tested include polymers, paperboards, packaging, disposable wet wipes, single serve beverage capsules, food service ware, agricultural and horticultural products, films & bags, inks, additives, adhesives, etc.
OWS is member of relevant industry associations, including European Bioplastics (Europe), US Composting Council – USCC (US) and BPP (Belgium). OWS is the only laboratory worldwide which is recognized by all certification bodies active in the field of biodegradability and compostability: TÜV AUSTRIA (Belgium), DIN CERTCO (Germany), BPI (US), JBPA (Japan) and ABA (Australia), and an active member of several normalization organizations such as ISO (international), CEN (European), ASTM (US) and DIN (German). This involvement allows OWS to co-develop new test methods and specifications, fostering a standardized approach across certification bodies so that clients do not have to run different tests to obtain certification in different parts of the world. OWS is also an officially recognized expert by the European Commission in the field of environmental fate, and participates in many multi-national funded research and consulting projects.
According to Tillinger, the Dayton lab will initially focus on biodegradability testing in home and industrial composting conditions. “We then plan to expand each year by adding additional test reactors for other environments such as soil, fresh water and seawater, and different types of tests including disintegration and plant toxicity. The surge in demand is coming from multiple industry sectors, each of whom are making commitments to circularity, sustainability and reducing accumulation of plastics in the environment, especially the oceans.”