ISO 18830:2016 specifies a test method to determine the degree and rate of aerobic biodegradation of plastic materials when settled on marine sandy sediment at the interface between seawater and the seafloor, by measuring the oxygen demand in a closed respirometer.
Measurement of aerobic biodegradation can also be obtained by monitoring the carbon dioxide evolution. This is not in the scope of this International Standard but of ISO 19679.
This test method is a simulation under laboratory conditions of the habitat found in different seawater/sediment-areas in the sea, e.g. in a benthic zone where sunlight reaches the ocean floor (photic zone) that, in marine science, is called sublittoral zone
The determination of biodegradation of plastic materials buried in marine sediment is outside the scope of this International Standard.
The conditions described in this International Standard may not always correspond to the optimum conditions for the maximum degree of biodegradation to occur.