Compostable plastics are derived from renewable materials like corn, potato, tapioca starches, cellulose, soy protein, and lactic acid.
Typically, when customers ask for a biodegradable material, they are looking for a compostable material. Compostable materials biodegrade within a specified period of time and leave no toxic residue in the soil. In the United States, ASTM D6400 is the standard specification for solid material biodegradation (by composting) required for the labeling of plastics designed to be aerobically composted in municipal or industrial facilities.
In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires companies that market their products as compostable to show reliable scientific evidence that all materials in the product or package will safely break down into, or become part of, usable compost in the same amount of time as the materials with which it is composted.