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The BPI Certification Process

BPI Certification Mark Usage Requirements

The BPI License Agreement requires that all certified items (e.g. bags, cups, cutlery wrappers, forks, pouches) and packaging for certified items display the BPI Certification Mark.  BPI has different Certification Marks available, and all items and their packaging must contain the following 5 elements:

BPI requires that the BPI Certification Mark be used on all certified products and packaging unless an exemption has been granted in writing. The on-product portion of this requirement is particularly important to differentiate compostable products from their non-compostable counterparts and is the visual cue that consumers and end-users will use when determining whether or not to put an item into an organics bin. Composters will use this same information to determine whether or not a given item represents a contaminant to their operation. Without consistent labeling and identification efforts at the on-product level, it is nearly impossible for compostable products and packaging to be diverted from landfills at end-of-life. 

Before products will be listed in BPI’s online database or official certificates are issued, representative samples (BPI does not need to see every size in a category if all the artwork is the same) of product and packaging artwork must be submitted to BPI for confirmation that the artwork meets the requirements for use as outlined in the license agreement. The BPI Certification Mark Usage Requirements detail the different versions of the Certification Mark, provide overviews of current regulatory requirements for compostability messaging in the United States and Canada, and show examples of the Certification Marks in use.  

While product and packaging artwork must be confirmed before the process is complete, applicants may submit artwork for review once the review fee has been paid and a testing scheme has been received by the applicant. BPI can provide watermarked versions of Certification Marks for preliminary design and review purposes. Once BPI has received all final paperwork and payments, the applicant will receive official Certification Marks, including versions of the Lock Up Certification Mark that are unique to the applicant.

For BPI's Guidelines for the Labeling and Identification of Compostable Products and Packaging, an industry document that provides expanded recommendations and graphical examples, click here.

For more information on labeling, please visit the Labeling FAQ

For questions about BPI’s artwork requirements and approval process, please click here.

The BPI Certification Process

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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