Ever since the introduction of "biodegradable plastics" in the late 1980s, confusion and skepticism about claims and product performance have prevailed. Although touted as "environmentally friendly," several so-called biodegradable plastic products did not biodegrade as expected. And yet manufacturers of these products were able to make claims of biodegradable because no scientifically based test methods and standards existed.
Now that has changed. Beginning in 2002, specifications and tests exist that scientifically prove a material will biodegrade, leaving no persistent synthetic residues. These standards are ASTM D6400 and ASTM D6868 which uses biodegradable coatings.
More importantly, technology has advanced to the point where there are plastics that have the functionality of existing products, yet will biodegrade completely and safely when composted in a large facility, leaving no residues. These facilities may not exist in your community, so check with your local officials.
The Biodegradable Products Institute has created the Compostable Logo, which is designed to address the confusion that had existed for decades.
The Compostable logo builds credibility and recognition for products that meet the ASTM D6400 and/or D6868 standards so consumers, composters, regulators and others can be assured that the product will biodegrade as expected.
The logo is designed to be easily recognizable and able to be placed on the actual product as well as packaging materials and sales literature.
Click on the link to verify if a product is advertised as compostable is legitimate.
To learn more about BPI's Compostable Label program, click here
For questions and answers about composting and biodegradation, click here