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  • 08 May 2018 10:01 PM | Wendell Simonson (Administrator)

    Last October in Toronto, there was a roundtable discussion hosted by the National Zero Waste Council of Canada about enablers of, and barriers to, the recovery of compostable packaging in Canada.   

    Anytime you do something like this, it is essential to have representatives from as many stakeholder groups as possible. For this event, we were lucky to have voices from municipalities, provincial governments, composters, certifiers, distributors, retailers, product manufacturers, trade associations, and others. The conversations were productive, yielding a recently published report entitled, “Packaging and the Circular Economy: A Case Study on Compostables in Canada.

    One of the more commonly cited barriers was the lack of conformity between compostability standards and current composting processing conditions, and in particular, the variability of those composting conditions.  This is nothing new to anyone who has been paying attention to the issues facing large scale organics diversion in North America and across the globe.

    One example of BPI’s engagement on this topic is the technical leadership and support we have provided to the CCREF’s Open Source Field Testing program, which will collect data on how different composting conditions impact the ability of compostable products to disintegrate.  You can read about that in this recent BioCycle magazine article.

    Additionally, BPI is working with the Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA) on testing a variety of items in two different composting systems to get better data for our Members on how BPI Certified products perform in those systems. CMA is a nationwide partnership of compost manufacturing facilities providing field disintegration testing for food service products.

    For BPI, it will always be about the broader diversion effort, and the crucial importance of keeping wasted food and other organics out of landfills. If there is one thing we should all be able to agree on, that is it.

  • 24 Apr 2018 11:51 AM | Wendell Simonson (Administrator)

    Thanks in large part to shifts in consumer sentiment and broader awareness of environmental sustainability, “greener” alternatives to traditional products and services have become increasingly common in today’s world. Compostability, where products and packaging associated with food scraps are re-designed to break down in composting facilities, is one strategy being employed in the effort to send less “waste” to landfills.    

     In order for composters to feel confident that the products and packaging they allow into their facilities is actually compostable, and for consumers to be able to actually identify those products, a system of third-party verification is required, and that’s where BPI comes in.

    Certification is critical for making sure claims are clear, consistent, and scientifically based.  BPI’s certification logo is on over 6,500 products in North America, and has been used by companies for almost 20 years, providing simple and uniform identification.  

     We verify that products meet ASTM’s scientific specifications, using internationally recognized test methods for compostability, conducted by independent laboratories.  No self-made claims to wade through, just the facts backed up by rigorous testing and review. 

     At BPI, we only certify products and packaging linked to food scraps diversion, or things that composters may actually want in their pile.  While many landfill-bound items need to be redesigned, not all are suitable for composting.  Considering that food scraps are the number one category of “waste” ending up in US landfills, the ability to more easily divert this stream to composting is a major goal for consumers, businesses and municipalities.  

     We hope that you’ll enjoy our new website and blog, and make use of our re-designed database of certified products — the definitive source for figuring out whether something is compostable in North America.
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