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BPI Launches Catalog of Compostable Products

BPIThe Biodegradable Products Institute has published what it says is the industry’s first item-level online database of compostable products that provides searchable, product-level information to composters, foodservice companies and consumers.

The Compostable Products Catalog will make it easier for companies to find substitutes for non-degradable plastics in their zero-waste efforts, BPI says.

In addition to item-level product specifications, the online catalog of BPI-certified products also gives buyers category-specific lists of more than 140 suppliers of compostable products with contact information, website links, email addresses, and up-to-date product certification status.

BPI executive director Steven A. Mojo says this level of detail helps build trust and greater acceptance of compostable products at all levels of the value chain.

Carla Castagnero, president of AgRecycle, Pennsylvania’s largest composter, says the catalog will help her clients as they look to source compostable cutlery, foodservice items and bags.

BPI is the largest certification organization for compostable products in North America. Any materials or products meeting ASTM D6400 or D6868 test requirements, as performed in a BPI-approved laboratory, then certified by and independent authority, can become BPI certified.

Last month the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology developed a test that determines how well packaging decomposes under industrial composting conditions. The new service will help manufacturers meet the growing demand for sustainable packaging materials, WIST says.

Also in August, Boston began piloting its first public composting program, inviting residents to drop off compostable food scraps for free at three city farmers’ markets.

Food manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers threw away 4.1 billion pounds of food waste in 2011, according to data collected from the industry. The Food Waste Reduction Alliance, Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Food Marketing Institute and the National Restaurant Association conducted the study to provide a comprehensive assessment of the industry and to identify barriers to recycling food waste. The organizations ultimately want to reduce the volume of food waste sent to landfills.

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