What Is the Fresh Water Test?

Trying to be eco-friendly while indulging in your glitter impulses can be a difficult task. Indeed, the market is filled with glitter brands that promise to be biodegradable when in reality, they are everything but biodegradable in nature. The only way you have to set apart fake ecoglitters from the real deal is the fresh water test!

In case you didn't know, glitter is made of plastic, and as such, it ends up polluting the oceans and rivers. So, it was only a matter of time for biodegradable products to rise and shine during this environmental crisis. But, how to know if an ecoglitter is really biodegradable? 

The answer is in the fresh water test results! It sounds complex, but we will break it down for you. After all, words like "biodegradable" or "100% plastic-free" are taken very lightly.

So, if you are desperately looking for an ecoglitter that is naturally biodegradable and does not pollute the environment, you can rest in peace with Bioglitter™. We hold the OK Biodegradable WATER certification, the highest third-party certification for biodegradability worldwide!

Let's Talk About Biodegradability

Some companies can be very savvy when trying to sell their glitter to inexperienced consumers. They tend to use the word 'biodegradable' without proper testing or results to back it up. 

Technically those "fake ecoglitters" may break down in the environment, but not how you might expect. 

For a product to be labeled as biodegradable, it must break down in the environment over a period of time. And with plastic glitter, that point could technically be in a couple of hundred years!

So, these fake ecoglitter companies can get away with murder, literally, just relying on a technicality.

For example, if glitter is listed as ASTM D6400/6868 certified, this means that the company can technically describe it as compostable. 

However, that glitter will not biodegrade in your back garden. This certification means that the product is ONLY INDUSTRIALLY compostable, requiring additional chemicals, temperature conditions, and microorganisms only present in composting facilities. 

Hence, compostable glitter is not NATURALLY biodegradable!

Biodegradability Testing: Where, How, and When?

Biodegradability should apply to the NATURAL ENVIRONMENT- not just special conditions like composting facilities. 

So, for a product to be biodegradable under natural conditions is key, but also the time frame and the percentage of biodegradation must be considered. Without testing or any definition of what it means, the word biodegradable can be pretty worthless. 

TÜV is a recognized, independent testing organization that provides biodegradability certifications worldwide. Also, OWS is a world-leading company in the biodegradability and compostability third-party testing of products and materials.

They have a well-established hierarchy of biodegradability test standards and certifications. This includes increasingly tricky environments in which ecoglitters most degrade.

Increased harder testing to pass translates into scenarios with decreasing levels of microbes and lower ambient temperatures.

Testing in Natural environments (where glitter is more likely to be found) include:

  • Lakes and rivers:fresh water biodegradability test; that is ISO 14851/2 with OK Biodegradable WATER Certification.

  • Oceans and seas: marine biodegradability; that is ASTM D6691-09 testing. 

  • Soil and shower/bath water: Soil and wastewater biodegradability to give the OK Biodegradable SOIL certification.

Man-made environments (where glitter is not commonly found):

  • Garden compost heap: home composting – OK Compost HOME certificate.

  • Compost bin:industrial composting– EN13432, EN14995, ASTM D6400 & ISO17088.

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What Is the Famous "Fresh Water Test" About?

The fresh water biodegradation test shows the degree of aerobic biodegradability by analyzing the amount of carbon converted to carbon dioxide (CO2) and the oxygen demand.

Biodegradable glitter must be exposed to a pre-grown population of microorganisms existing in natural seawater. The test method is conducted under controlled laboratory conditions.

OWS decided that the fresh water biodegradability testing was the most appropriate for biodegradable glitter due to the nature of the product (insoluble solid) and most likely end-of-life scenarios. 

So the test for biodegradable glitters must comply with the ISO14851/2 standards, which is for biodegradation in an aqueous medium.

The test tries to replicate the conditions of the natural environment where glitter might end up after being discarded, such as streams, lakes, and rivers.

The Bioglitter™ Eco-Credentials

Bioglitter™ is an innovative ecoglitter that has a plant-derived eucalyptus cellulose core instead of plastic. Bioglitter™ PURE is the first 100% plastic-free glitter worldwide! 

Our Bioglitter is the only glitter proven to biodegrade under natural conditions with the presence of heat, oxygen, and microbes, turning into water, biomass, and carbon dioxide.

The WHOLE Bioglitter™ product, including core and coating, has been proven to quickly biodegrade into harmless substances in the natural environment.  

Indeed, Bioglitter degrades just a leaf as soon as it touches the ground, with 92% degradation in four weeks. Also, it holds the OK Biodegradable WATER certification, the highest third-party certification for biodegradability worldwide.

Freshwater is the most challenging environment for a product to biodegrade in due to the low temperatures and low levels of microorganisms, but Bioglitter™ can do it without a problem! 

In addition, Bioglitter™'s unique naturally biodegradable cellulose core is the only one certified for both industrial and home composting environments. Additionally, it complies with the standard for marine biodegradation that is ASTM D6691-09.

All these testing also mean that Bioglitter doesn't contain microplastics.  So, when using Bioglitter, you will be reducing the waste in rivers and lakes.

Always Look For Independent Testing

Finally, when buying ecoglitter, always verify their testing policy. 

If they claim that their glitter was tested for biodegradability but did not specify that it is has been independently tested, turn around and ditch the product!

Most probably, their testing was done in-house by themselves and may be biased.

Also, if their product has been independently tested, look for the results. They should be available on their website. Focus on the time for biodegradation and composition of the product (the core and coating should be of natural origin).

Remember that Bioglitter™ is independently tested by OWS Belgium to ISO14851/2 Fresh Water Biodegradability. So, when in doubt, always choose Bioglitter™!

As you can see, Bioglitter is heading the run towards true biodegradability. Bioglitter not only passed the fresh water test, but we are also willing to show you the test results. So that next time you are looking for naturally biodegradable glitter for decorations or makeup, look no further and trust blindly in our products!

Bioglitter Sparkle & Bioglitter Pure

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