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Certification Mark Use Exemptions

The requirement to use the BPI Certification Mark on all products and packaging is in place to help manage the threat of contamination that is frequently cited by composters as their biggest challenge when accepting compostable products and packaging. Complete and accurate on-product and on-package labeling are the most important tools we have in the effort to keep consumers, end-users, composters and others informed on the compostability of products and packaging. 

Despite the extreme importance of on-product labeling, there are some categories that BPI, in consultation with its Composter & Municipality Committee, has chosen to exempt from its requirements. There are typically a combination of factors in play when exemptions are granted. The two most common factors are:

1. Space / Technical Constraints - Lack of space on an item and/or the inability to label due to technical limitations can sometimes constitute an exemption.
2. Contamination Risk  - If an item is a low contamination risk because it is unlikely to be confused with a non-compostable item, it may receive an exemption. 

    Current Category Exemptions
    There are a small number of categories that currently have exemptions in place for the requirement to display the BPI Certification Mark on all products:

    • Resins (including packaging)

    • Components

    • Product Categories (packaging requirements still apply):

          • Napkins, Towels & Tissues
          • Cleaning Wipes (Food Use Only)
          • Uncoated Paper Plates, Paper Portion Cups and Paper Conicals
          • Straws and Stirrers
          • Small, Rigid Coffee Capsules (“Nespresso style”)
          • Coffee Filters
          • Egg Shell Flats / Drink Containers
          • Mulch Films
          • Tea Bags & Tea Bag Tags
          • Grilling Paper (Retail Only)
          • Wooden Cutlery, Stir Sticks and Toothpicks
          • Food and Beverage Filters
          • Foam Packaging (Packing Peanuts, Packing Foam)

    Future Category Exemptions
    BPI will consider requests to add categories to the list above. If you have a product that you think is a good fit for the list of categorical exemptions to BPI’s on-product or on-packaging labeling requirements, please use this form. 

    BPI is a science-driven organization that supports a shift to the circular economy by promoting the production, use, and appropriate end of lives for materials and products that are designed to fully biodegrade in specific biologically active environments.

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