Biodegradable Mulch

Biodegradable mulches are allowed for use by organic farms, if they have met the following requirements of the organic standards:


205.601 – Biodegradable biobased mulch film as defined in §205.2. Must be produced without organisms or feedstock derived from excluded methods.

205.2 – Biodegradable biobased mulch film. A synthetic mulch film that meets the following criteria:

  1. Meets the compostability specifications of one of the following standards: ASTM D6400, ASTM D6868, EN 13432, EN 14995, or ISO 17088 (all incorporated by reference; see §205.3);
  2. Demonstrates at least 90% biodegradation absolute or relative to microcrystalline cellulose in less than two years, in soil, according to one of the following test methods: ISO 17556 or ASTM D5988 (both incorporated by reference; see §205.3); and
  3. Must be biobased with content determined using ASTM D6866 (incorporated by reference; see §205.3).

At this time, none of the commercially available biodegradable mulches have been proven to meet the requirements.  No biodegradable mulch is allowed for use unless it is removed from the field at the end of the growing season.

It is possible that a biodegradable mulch could be approved for use in the future. If you are told a biodegradable mulch is approved, please notify Baystate before you use the mulch so we can verify that the mulch is compliant with the organic standards.