Before You Start

Is my product, package, or material eligible for BPI Certification?

In addition to meeting the technical standards in the certification scheme and the BPI Certification Mark requirements in the License Agreement, all products, packages, and materials must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The item must be associated with desirable organic wastes, like food scraps and yard trimmings, that are collected for composting.
  • The item cannot be a redesign of an item that is a better fit for recycling based on existing demand, infrastructure, and consumer awareness (e.g., water bottles).
  • The item cannot require disassembly in order to be composted.
  • Artwork requirements

A list of In Scope and Out of Scope items is available in Appendix B - BPI Eligibility Requirements in the Certification Scheme.

For more information on Eligibility, please click here.

What are the rules on labeling?

Once eligibility has been determined, it is important to note that the BPI License Agreement requires all BPI-certified products (e.g., bags, cups, cutlery wrappers, forks, pouches) and packaging (both consumer- and market-facing) for BPI-certified products to display the BPI Certification Mark. The only exception to this requirement is when an exemption has been granted in writing.

See more on BPI Certification Mark usage requirements here.

Once you have determined that your product is eligible and is able to be appropriately labeled with the BPI Certification Mark, you can move on to the certification or sublicense process.

Certifying vs. Sublicensing

Companies that certify products, components, or resins with BPI must complete the entire certification process, including signing the BPI License Agreement. This agreement gives companies legal rights to use the BPI Certification Marks on their products, packaging, and marketing materials. These companies also become BPI Certification Members and gain access to other BPI member benefits.

Find more information on certifying products here.

While licensees/original certificate holders must complete the BPI Certification process in order to manufacture BPI-certified compostable products, companies that want to sell certified products that have been privately labeled with their own company brand must first sign a Sublicense Agreement with both the licensee and BPI. A sublicense is a simple, legally binding agreement that details a product list with both the supplier’s and their customer’s product titles and SKUs. This agreement allows the sublicensee to use the BPI Certification Marks on sublicensed products and packaging but doesn’t allow them to manufacture any BPI-certified products themselves.

Find more information on sublicensing here.