The BPI Approval Process & Test Requirements
Looking to certify a product as compostable in North America? You’ve come to the right place. Once you’ve read through the items below, you can download an application and our NDA.
BPI certification is based on test results from approved independent laboratories. If you have questions about what tests to complete, start the application process and we can help you determine the right tests based on your formulation and what you plan to market as compostable. If your test results are determined to meet our requirements your company will be eligible to license BPI’s Compostable Logo to indicate that your products or packaging are certified.
Steps and Costs in the BPI Approval Process
- Approved Test Lab Results: Applicant obtains ASTM test results on product from an approved lab. Labs set their own fees and bill the applicant directly.
- Application and Trilateral NDA: BPI, DIN CERTCO, and applicant enter into an NDA. Applicant provides product description including resins or ingredients used, pigments, maximum thicknesses and tradename for product to be sold. Application can be found here.
- Independent Review of Test Results: Once applicant has submitted all test results and forms to BPI, they will be transmitted to DIN CERTCO along with a product sample for Technical Review. New certification reviews cost $1,500 (valid for 3 years), re-certifications cost $1,000.
- BPI License Agreement: After successful review of test results, applicant enters into licensing agreement granting them right to use the Compostable Logo and other BPI trademarks. Annual licensing and membership fees are $3,000 per company, with a $500 discount given to members of the US Composting Council.
- Review of Marketing Materials & Claims: Applicant prepares sample artwork of packaging, web pages, brochures & advertising using the compostable logo. BPI will periodically test and inspect products in the market for compliance.
Compostable Products Planning Guide
Every product certified by the BPI will compost completely and safely in a professionally managed composting facility. However, not every product or package should be composted.
- If only part of the item is compostable, would need to be disassembled, consideration is needed for appropriate labeling, and likelihood that a consumer will actually do the sorting
- If the item is a redesign of something readily recyclable, consumers might still place it in the recycling bin (i.e., it’s not getting composted, and recyclers may worry about contamination)
- If the item doesn’t help divert desirable feedstockslike food scraps and yard trimmings, composters might not want it, and municipalities may suggest that consumers place it in the trash
To help you decide if your product is a good candidate for compostability, take a moment to complete the BPI's Compostable Products Decision Tree.
Click on the link for a downloadable (PDF) chart: BPI Cert Decision Tree v1.pdf
If you have additional questions about composting or certification, send an email to email@example.com.