The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) is a not-for-profit association that created an innovative certification process in 1999 called the Compostable Label. The BPI Compostable Logo program is recognized throughout North America as a standard for approved biodegradable products in commercial and municipal compost facilities. BPI, in conjunction with the US Composting Council, aims to educate manufacturers, legislators and consumers about the importance of scientifically based standards for compostable materials.
BPI’s Compostable Label (pictured left) is designed for used on compostable products and packages. Products or packaging certified under BPI’s Compostable Label are scientifically tested to ensure no residues will be left behind during the biodegradation process that may destroy the value of the finished compost.
Companies that have gained membership with BPI can apply to have their products certified as meeting ASTM D6400 and/or ASTM D6868 in order to provide their customers with the assurance of scientifically approved compostability or biodegradability. Products made of compostable materials are tested in NSF International laboratories on behalf of BPI. NSF scientists verify that the products meet requirements in ASTM specifications. ASTM D6400 specifications are designed to cover plastic films and bags, whereas, ASTM D6868 is for packaging that is designed to be composted, including plastic coated paper and board. For more information on the application and certification process please visit this useful link.
As of January 2012 BPI has partnered with NSF International to administer the Compostable Logo Program. NSF International is an independent North American certification organization that has been testing and certifying products for safety, health and the environment for 67 years. NSF has taken over the validation of BPI’s program, which was previously tested by independent scientists from 3rd party approved labs. Once a product is approved by NSF a member company will then enter into a licensing agreement with BPI.
If you are interested in finding out more in-depth information on BPI and their efforts to provide education and certification to the composting industry please visit www.bpiworld.org or the official BPI blog Greenwashing Spy.