In our previous post, we talked a little bit about ASTM testing and why it’s imperative for quality assurance. Here, we’re going to dive a little deeper to really understand the importance of this type of testing.
What is ASTM International?
Quick recap: ASTM International is a not-for-profit organization that aims to set in place rules and standards which govern the quality of various forms of packaging. It operates for the benefit of producers and consumers alike and is meant to provide clear and useful information for anyone who might find it helpful. They codify the standards that they draft and set a metaphorical bar in order to create a system in which all businesses are accountable for the products, materials, and services that they market.
What is a “standard” and who influences them?
A standard is a technical document that ASTM International has reviewed and approved as being in line with their procedures and regulations. These standards are made by ASTM International, but are also developed with the participation of those with a stake in the development of a given product and its use. Packaging that violates standards recognized by ASTM International will be noted as such and may suffer from the lack of support from such a widely respected authority on packaging.
How are ASTM standards used?
The use of ASTM standards is voluntary. There is no law that mandates their employment. However, they exist for a reason. ASTM standards are used by individuals, companies, and countless institutions. In any business exchange, chances are that the producer and the consumer are from different backgrounds and may not see eye-to-eye on everything. ASTM standards are so useful because they provide a streamlined way to mediate business. Implementing ASTM standards into your contracts will save an enormous amount of time, as instead of having to come up with every standard you want a product to meet, you can inform a producer that you need their product to follow ASTM standards. Though use of ASTM standards is not mandatory, their prevalence in contracts, codes, laws, and regulations make them essential to follow and understand. Even if none of this information is relevant to you and you are completely alien to the world of packaging, ASTM testing is still helping you out! By setting forth a set of privately developed standards, ASTM saves taxpayers millions of dollars in that fewer public standards must be developed.
Be smart with your packaging and make sure that every product you use is ASTM tested!