BPI requires that the BPI Certification Mark be used on all certified products and packaging unless an exemption has been granted in writing. The on-product portion of this requirement is particularly important to differentiate compostable products from their non-compostable counterparts, and is the visual cue that consumers and end-users will use when determining whether or not to put an item into an organics bin. Composters will use this same information to determine whether or not a given item represents a contaminant to their operation. Without consistent labeling and identification efforts at the on-product level, it is nearly impossible for compostable products and packaging to be diverted from landfills at end-of-life.
Before products will be listed in BPI’s online database or official certificates are issued, representative samples (BPI does not need to see every size in a category if all the artwork is the same) of product and packaging artwork must be submitted to BPI for approval. BPI’s Certification Mark Guidelines detail the different versions of the Certification Mark, provide overviews of current regulatory requirements for compostability messaging in the United States and Canada, and show examples of the Certification Marks in use. The BPI On-Product Certification Mark Use Guidelines provide considerations for when and how to use the Certification Mark on products and packaging.
While product and packaging artwork must be approved before the process is complete, applicants may submit artwork for approval once the review fee has been paid and a testing scheme has been received by the applicant. BPI will provide watermarked versions of the Primary and Secondary Certification Marks for preliminary design and approval purposes. Once BPI has received all final paperwork and payments, the applicant will receive official Certification Marks, including versions of the Primary Mark that are unique to the applicant.
For information on labeling, please visit the Labeling FAQ.
For questions about BPI’s artwork requirements and approval process, please click here.