Composters, consumers and foodservice companies will now have unprecedented detail – and confidence -- in BPI Certified Compostable Products thanks to the industry’s first item-level online database of products.
Funded by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), the new Compostable Products Catalog features more than 3,300 different compostable product “skus” (shelf keeping units), including foodservice ware (cups, cutlery, plates & trays), resins and coatings, compostable bags and films.
The catalog is believed to be the world’s first web-based catalog to offer searchable product-level information on compostable products.
In addition to item-level product specifications, the web site also gives buyers category-specific lists of more than 140 suppliers of compostable products with contact information, website links, email addresses, and up-to-date product certification status.
According to Steven A. Mojo, BPI Executive Director, this enhanced level of detail helps build trust and greater acceptance of compostable products at all levels of the value chain.
“Compostable products substitute for non-degradable plastics in zero waste diversion efforts, making it easier to compost waste streams that are predominantly food scraps or wet/soiled paper,” said Mojo. “The new BPI catalog provides accurate, item-level identification of these certified products: essential information composters need to demand that waste generators purchase and use only specific, BPI- approved products.”
“The new BPI catalog will be a real resource for my clients as they look to source compostable cutlery, foodservice items and bags”, stated Carla Castagnero, President of AgRecycle, Inc., of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania’s largest composter.”
Mojo agreed, claiming the new catalog will display product and vendor information by popular application categories, making ‘comparison shopping’ easy.
“With more than 63 application categories, there is a surprisingly large and diverse collection of compostable products available,” said Mojo. “The new catalog opens up more choices - and more suppliers - to help consumers and businesses replace plastics and make composting more efficient and lost costly than landfill disposal.”
The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) is a 503-(c)6 , not-for-profit organization that educates, advocates, and certifies compostable materials to be safe for large-scale composting. It then licenses companies to use BPI Compostable Logo on products and marketing materials, helping consumers and composters make informed choices. It is the largest certification organization for compostable products in North America.
Any materials or products meeting ASTM D6400 or D6868 test requirements, as performed in a BPI-approved laboratory, then certified by and independent authority, can become BPI Certified.
According to the EPA, in 2011, the United States sent more than 35 million tons of food scraps, wet/soiled paper, and yard waste to landfills or incinerators. This waste is predominantly organic and compostable, except for contamination from relatively small amounts of comingled, non-degradable plastic items - contaminants that make composting costly and inefficient.
Substituting BPI-certified compostable products for these non-degradable contaminants can dramatically improve the efficiency and quality of composting, allowing composting to be a more practical and sustainable organic recycling option.
Thousands of towns and cities throughout North America already compost more than 19 million tons of yard waste according to the US EPA. Hundreds of communities and private businesses compost food scraps and wet/soiled papers. Many states and communities (Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut) have banned, or are contemplating bans, on biodegradable trash from being landfilled, increasing demand for composting as a recycling alternative.