BPI has a number of requirements that go beyond what ASTM requires.
ASTM 6400 and 6868 are technical standards for compostability in commercial compost environments, and they deal largely with biodegradation, disintegration, heavy metals, and ecotoxicity. On January 1, 20220, BPI instituted rules for Fluorinated Chemicals (PFAS) that require all certified items to be below 100ppm total fluorine, accompanied by a signed statement from the manufacturer stating that no intentionally added fluorinated chemicals are present in the formulation.
BPI also takes steps to try and protect composters from receiving items they don’t want, even if they are technically compostable. Unlike recycling, where recapturing the actual product or packaging material is the goal, composters generally accept compostable products and packaging as a means for getting food scraps and yard trimmings.
Making the decision to accept even certified compostable items comes with increased risks of contamination from non-compostable products. Contamination from non-compostable products is the biggest challenge composters accepting compostable products face, and is the main reason composters decide not to accept compostable products.
Limiting eligibility to items that are associated with the diversion of desirable feedstocks like food scraps and yard trimmings helps keep the total volume of products and packaging in organics streams lower, and is one way to help address contamination challenges for composters.