In its January 11 press release, global independent public health organization NSF International announced that it is named by Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) of the US as the new administrator of the latter’s Certified Compostable program.
NSF will administer the BPI program through its NSF Sustainability division, which provides testing and verification of environmental claims for consumer products, green chemicals, sustainable furnishing and building materials such as carpet, flooring and fabrics. The organization also provides process verification services, which include greenhouse gas verification, environmental footprint, and environmental management systems registrations.
According to NSF, the BPI developed the Certified Compostable program for plastics to apply science-based test methods developed by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) to verify a material that will compost in a municipal or commercial facility, leaving no toxic or lingering plastic. Product testing mimics what takes place in a typical municipal or commercial composting system.
To pass these ASTM tests, a product must:
– Disintegrate quickly leaving no visible residue that has to be screened out.
– Biodegrade fully or convert rapidly to carbon dioxide, water and biomass.
– Result in compost that can support plant growth.
– Not introduce high levels of regulated metals into the soil.
Certified compostable items range from compostable bags and foodservice items to packaging materials, widely distributed consumer products and even wax and shellac coatings. NSF said a BPI Compostable Logo will be issued to identify products that have been independently tested and verified to biodegrade and compost quickly, safely and completely in municipal and commercial composting operations.
“As more consumer goods companies recognize the importance and value of composting, and the importance of responsible marketing claims about biodegradability and compostability, we anticipate even more growth in the years ahead. This new partnership with NSF will create a strong foundation to support this anticipated growth,” said Steven A Mojo, BPI Executive Director.
“NSF Sustainability’s participation will help to expand the Certified Compostable program and provide consumers, institutional, commercial and government purchasers even more access to compostable plastic products,” added Tom Bruursema, NSF International Sustainability General Manager.
The BPI awarded the first “Compostable Logo” in 2002 in an effort to distinguish compostable plastic applications from ones made of traditional non-degradable plastics. More than 230 products made by more than 130 global companies have since received the BPI certification.
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