Just How Important Are Biodegradable Plastics?

The Biodegradable Products Institute, or BPI, is the principal certifier of biodegradable products and packaging in the USA. The BPI certifies product packaging as compostable according to the scientific standards of ASTM D6400 & ASTM D6868.

About

The Biodegradable Products Institute is a third party association composed of individuals and organizations from the biodegradable materials community.

Objectives

The Biodegradable Products Institute has three goals:

1. Training – It looks to inform people, companies,  biodegradablerealm  and governmental organizations of the advantages of employing biodegradable materials.

2. Accreditation – It certifies materials as compostable in a municipal composting facility and enables manufacturers that fulfill this certification to use the BPI logo on their products.

3. Partnerships – It creates partnerships across the compostable supplies and packaging niche to encourage the adoption and recovery of compostable supplies and the development of homogeneous standards for compostability globally.

Approved Products

The Biodegradable Products Institute has a list of products and materials that have been certified compostable according to ASTM standards. This list focuses on:

– Compostable Trash and Produce Bags,
– Compostable Food Packaging,
– Compostable Polymers, and
– Compostable Product Packaging

Why is the Biodegradable Products Institute Crucial?

There exists insufficient understanding among both consumers and organizations that the scientific classifications of the terms “compostable” & “biodegradable” mean two very different things.

Materials that are recognized as compostable  tretinoinworld  must undergo biological decomposition at a composting facility as part of a readily available program, such that the product is not aesthetically identifiable and decomposes into CO2, H2O, inorganic substances, and organic matter, at a rate consistent with recognized compostable substances (e.g. cellulose), and results in no toxic remains. These products have to satisfy strict scientific standards that make sure that: 1) the item biodegrades by sixty to ninety percent in 180 days (biodegradability), 2) that less than ten percent of the remaining package is two millimeters in size or greater (disintegration), and 3) that the material leaves behind no levels of heavy metals in the soil or compost larger than that of a control group (eco toxicity).

Materials that are biodegradable on the other hand need only degrade from the action of naturally occurring microorganisms (e.g., bacteria) over a duration of time. There is though no time requirement for this degredation.

Consequently, several products in the marketplace are greenwashing (e.g., Taterware) and misinforming consumers of their eco qualities by claiming to be compostable while they are actually only biodegradable and don’t satisfy the standards of ASTM D6400 or D6868.

Buying Compostable Products

Businesses and people that are trying to buy compostable supplies and food ware really should search for products that are certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute or another 3rd party certifier (e.g., Cedar Grove).

Dinesh runs an eco buying group that helps small businesses save up to 80% on biodegradable food packaging and biodegradable plates.

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