The sections below are designed to give applicants an overview of BPI’s process and what is required to submit an application.
Is my product, package, or material eligible for BPI Certification?
In addition to meeting ASTM standards and other requirements such as being free of intentionally-added fluorinated chemicals like PFAs, all products, packages, and materials must meet the following additional criteria:
- The item must be accepted in a majority of commercial compost facilities that accept compostable products and packaging or be part of a specific closed loop system in which a composter willing to accept the product has been identified.
- The item must be associated with the diversion of desirable feedstocks like food scraps and yard trimmings from landfills to composting.
- The item must be printed, embossed, etched, or otherwise clearly identified with the BPI Certification Mark unless an exemption is granted in writing by BPI.
- The item cannot be a redesign of an item that is a better fit for recycling based on existing demand, infrastructure, and consumer awareness.
- The item cannot require disassembly in order to be composted.
For more information on eligibility, please visit the Eligibility FAQ.
For specific questions about whether a product, package, or material meets BPI’s eligibility criteria, please contact us here.
Should I certify or sublicense?
Companies that certify products, components, or resins with BPI must complete the entire certification process, including signing the BPI License Agreement. This agreement gives companies legal rights to use the BPI Certification Marks on their products, packaging, and marketing materials. These companies also become BPI Producer Members and gain access to other BPI member benefits.
A sublicense allows the BPI Certification Marks to be used by a customer of a BPI Producer Member for private label products (i.e., items sold for resale under the customer’s brand). It is a simple, signed legal agreement that lists products at the SKU level for both the license holder and the sublicensee.
For more information on sublicensing, please visit the Sublicense FAQ.
What are the costs to apply and, if approved, to certify products with BPI?
The application fee is $1,500 USD for new certifications, $500 of which is non-refundable. Certifications are valid for 3 years.
Recertification every three years is $1,000.
The BPI Membership and Licensing fee is $3,000 per year per company. This is separate from application fees.
Approximately how long will it take to complete the certification process after I submit a valid application with all the required documentation and pay my application fee?
The entire process can take up to six months or more depending on the test scheme required and both the readiness and attentiveness of the applicant. Testing is often the longest part of the process. Tests like Metals, Ash, and FTIR can take less than one month, but timelines depend on available lab capacity, which is outside of BPI’s ability to control. Disintegration testing takes a minimum of 3 months, and biodegradation testing takes a minimum of 6 months. When all tests are submitted and samples are sent, the technical review process generally takes 4 weeks to complete.
What paperwork do I need to fill out to start the process?
A company must submit the following forms ONCE:
The following documents are required for EACH APPLICATION:
Complete and signed paperwork can be submitted to email@example.com. After submission, the applicant will be assigned to a Project Manager at BPI who will work with them through the process.
How does invoicing work?
All invoices are due on receipt. Applications do not proceed until after payment is received.
New certifications for companies new to BPI:
- A $1,500 USD one-time application fee will be invoiced after all initial paperwork has been received.
- A $3,000 USD annual Membership and Licensing fee will be invoiced to BPI Members on their membership anniversary date.
- A $1,000 USD recertification fee is invoiced to renew certificates at the end of their three-year life span, before recertification testing proceeds. A $500 USD modification fee can be assessed for changes to the original certificate formulation.
- An annual $3,000 USD Membership and Licensing renewal fee will be invoiced to BPI members on their licensing/membership anniversary date.