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The BPI Certification Process

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 the technical standards in the certification scheme and the BPI Certification Mark requirements in the License Agreement, all products, packages, and materials must meet the following eligibility criteria:

    • The item must be associated with desirable organic wastes, like food scraps and yard trimmings, that are collected for composting. 
    • The item cannot be a redesign of an item that is a better fit for recycling based on existing demand, infrastructure, and consumer awareness (e.g., water bottles).
    • The item cannot require disassembly in order to be composted.

    A list of In Scope and Out of Scope items is available in Appendix B - BPI Eligibility Requirements in the Certification Scheme.  

      For more information on Eligibility, please click 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, visit our the sublicensing section.

      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. Using non-certified ingredients may result in additional application fees.  Certifications are valid for 3 years.

      Recertification every three years is $1,000.

      The BPI Membership and Licensing fee is due every year, with the cost dependent upon the selected membership level. BPI offers different membership categories with varying benefits and annual costs to best fit the needs of member companies.  Please visit BPI Membership for details on membership options and costs.   

      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 certification@bpiworld.org.  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.  BPI's financial policies can be found here.  

      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.
      • An annual Membership and Licensing fee, dependent on the membership level, will be invoiced to BPI Members on their membership anniversary date. 

      Renewal fees:

      • 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 Membership and Licensing renewal fee will be invoiced to BPI members on their licensing/membership anniversary date.

      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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