New Stakeholder Membership program helps BPI expand focus beyond certification
JANUARY 12, 2021 - The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), North America’s leading certifier of compostable products and packaging, today announced the election results for its Board of Directors, including the first composter in BPI’s 20+ year history. Atlas Organics, the Spartanburg, South Carolina based commercial composter, will be represented by Leslie Rodgers, Director of Business Development. Composters like Atlas Organics are now eligible for BPI’s Board thanks to a new Stakeholder Membership program initiated in late 2019 that creates membership opportunities for organizations not directly certifying products and materials with BPI.
Other organizations elected to new terms beginning in 2021 are Amy’s Kitchen (Renaud des Rosiers), BASF (Jeanette Hanna, Secretary of the Board), Eco-Products (Steve Rosse), Dunn Paper (Chris Mitchell), Vegware (Julia Wetstein), and Dart Container (Christine Cassidy). They are joined by current members NatureWorks (Tim Goodman, President of the Board), Pactiv Evergreen (Lynn Dyer, Vice President of the Board), Georgia-Pacific (Peg Hoks), Novamont (Paul Darby), Danimer (Phil van Trump), and Total Corbion (Derek Atkinson).
“This is a strong set of leaders, and we are particularly excited to have the first composter join BPI’s Board of Directors,” said Rhodes Yepsen, Executive Director of BPI. “This is part of our effort to better represent the entire value chain. It is our hope that BPI can become a hub of collaboration between composters, operators, manufacturers and others moving forward in our shared goal of keeping organics out of landfills.”
Atlas Organics is the first composter to join BPI as a part of the organization’s Stakeholder Membership program, which is free for composters and municipalities. Stakeholder Members are organizations that support BPI's mission, but do not currently certify products or materials with BPI. They enjoy all of the same voting rights as Producer Members, participate in BPI committees, and are eligible for seats on BPI’s Board of Directors. In 2020, Atlas Organics helped shape BPI’s Guidelines for the Labeling and Identification of Compostable Products and Packaging, which began as a project in BPI’s Communications and Outreach Committee.
“Joining BPI has given Atlas Organics the opportunity to participate in the crucial conversations about compostable packaging happening across the industry,” said Rodgers. “I’m excited to share the perspective of composters with my fellow BPI board members, and to help open lines of communication between composters and packaging manufacturers.”
Later this month, BPI will be hosting two multi-stakeholder virtual workshop sessions moderated by Nora Goldstein of BioCycle Magazine. The sessions will include a broad mix of composters, municipalities, compostable products manufacturers and food service operators. The goal for the sessions is to build consensus for a single set of acceptability criteria for compostable products by identifying the top barriers composters and municipalities face today, and specific projects that address them.
Once the sessions are complete, a new BPI Composter and Municipality Committee chaired by Atlas Organics will share responsibility for the projects identified by workshop participants as top priorities for addressing issues like compost contamination, how products break down in real world conditions, and inability to sell compost into Organic agriculture if compostable products are accepted.
“The same barriers consistently come up in our conversations with composters,” said Yepsen. “We want to be sure there is agreement on these challenges and their solutions so we can make meaningful progress. The timing is right with Atlas Organics joining our Board, and a half dozen other composters and municipalities having joined BPI as Stakeholder Members.”
All composters and municipalities are welcome to join BPI as Stakeholder Members, where they can participate in BPI’s committees and other activities. Click here to learn more about how to join.
The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) is North America’s leading certifier of compostable products and packaging. The organization is science-driven, and supports a shift to the circular economy by promoting the production, use, and appropriate end of lives for materials and products that are designed to fully biodegrade in specific biologically active environments. BPI’s certification program operates in conjunction with education and advocacy efforts designed to support the broader effort to keep food scraps and other organics out of landfills. To learn more about BPI, please visit www.bpiworld.org
About Atlas Organics
Headquartered in Spartanburg, SC, Atlas Organics is a leading commercial composting company seeking to increase municipal waste-solution partnerships across the US. Our facilities recycle water treatment residuals, yard trimmings and food residuals, turning it into a valuable soil amendment to promote sustainable regional agriculture and landscaping. For more information, please visit our website: www.atlasorganics.net