Field Validation

The goals of BPI’s Field Validation Program are to:

  • Utilize field testing data to generate a comprehensive understanding of how BPI Certified products are performing (passing and failing) in real world composting environments
  • Communicate to composters and others what the data has to say
  • Support the development of standardized field testing protocols and best management practices for composters processing compostable products
  • Generate field testing data for products and categories that are not represented in publicly available field data sets
  • Examine and adjust existing standards based on what the data show

In early 2021, BPI and BioCycle Magazine hosted a workshop series with composters, municipalities, foodservice operators, and compostable packaging manufacturers to:

  1. Identify and confirm the top barriers to the acceptance and successful processing of certified compostable products.
  2. Build consensus for a single set of acceptability criteria so that compostable products can be accepted and successfully processed by a broader set of composters processing food scraps.

The workshop culminated in a report containing a Roadmap and Action plan detailing 6 barriers to the acceptance and successful processing of compostable products, along with future state definitions and initial project scoping for how to overcome them. One of those 6 barriers was “Compostability Standards”, defined as “products meeting ASTM standards not breaking down quickly enough in real world environments”. The desired future state for this barrier was articulated as follows,

“Composters have enough information on real world performance to trust that products meeting ASTM standards will break down in facilities designed to accept food scraps and packaging.”

Workshop attendees expressed support or non-support for proposed action items, including a “collaborative program designed to generate comprehensive data on the performance of certified products in composting facility systems”, which received 100% support from all responding attendees, making it the most supported proposed action item of the entire workshop.

With consensus established, a “Field Validation Program” project was identified with the following draft scope of work:

“Launch a field validation program to integrate with existing data sets on the performance of compostable products in a diverse mix of real world environments, making data available to composters and others through an online portal and annual reports.”

Check back often as BPI will use this part of the website to chronicle progress that is made on the field validation topic.

Part I - Data Review

"Review of Publicly Available Field Testing Results and Programs"

Click to view

Part II - Standardized Protocols

Contact us here to participate in BPI's ASTM work item on field testing.

Part III - Testing

Field Testing of Specific Categories and Materials

Part IV - Standards Review

Examination of Existing Compostability Standards