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Ensuring your business is sustainable and reducing your carbon footprint are more important than ever before. According to Forbes people have become so passionate about using sustainable products that they're even willing to spend more for eco-friendly practices. In fact- they reported almost 90% of Gen X consumers are willing to spend up to 10% more to purchase in a more sustainable way.
One way you can increase a business's credibility is to use products that are BPI certified. This certification is a visual for your customers that you are as committed to the environment as they are.
Chances are you've heard the abbreviation before: BPI. But what does it mean, and what does it stand for? Read the following article to learn a bit more about BPI Certification and why it's important to seek out products that are BPI Certified.
What does BPI stand for?
BPI stands for "Biodegradable Products Institute". This is a company that provides testing and certifications for various types of products that are proven to be compostable.
The organization was founded in 1999 to promote the use and recovery of biodegradable products. The BPI program that it offers and the certification that goes with it is the most well-known in the industry.
BPI also maintains a searchable database for all the products that it has certified. This adds extra confidence for consumers since they can verify if a product's certification is authentic in real-time.
When a product gets awarded the BPI certification it means that it has gone through a lot of testing and has been found to meet high standards for compostability. Because of their excellent reputation BPI has quickly become the most popular regulating body for compostable products. Thanks to them manufacturers have a way to ensure they're creating eco-friendly products and consumers get to enjoy full transparency in the process.
What Does BPI Certified Compostable Mean?
When a product is BPI certified it means that it has gone through a quality testing process to ensure that it can fully compost in a commercial facility within 6 months, and that it leaves no harmful chemicals behind in the resulting compost. This rigorous testing process involves several steps, some of which take place before the product is even sold or ready for the market.
Each step in the process is meticulously and carefully done, and many steps involve other regulating bodies aside from the Biodegradable Products Institute. The involvement of a third-party organization in the certification of compostable products ensures that the highest level of integrity has been applied to the verification process and that each product meets the minimum quality standards.
Having products BPI certified gives consumers peace of mind that the products are not just being advertised as eco-friendly as a marketing boost through greenwashing. This certification can be looked up online and give your customers confidence that you're a sustainable business.
How Can a Product Get BPI Certified?
The BPI certification is done in five different steps to thoroughly test the commercial compostability of the product in question.
ASTM Testing Standards
The first step in the BPI certification program uses what is called the ASTM standard to test the product.
In this step, the product is submitted to a BPI-approved lab. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards are used to put a product through an intense testing process.
The lab will use thousands of ASTM testing standards on each element of the product. Once test results from ASTM are positive, the second step in the process can be started.
The second step in the process is all about ensuring confidentiality. During this second part, a company will disclose the ins and outs of how their product is manufactured to all organizations involved.
This means that a lot of confidential information will be given to testers only. To protect the company and its products, a non-disclosure agreement is signed between BPI, the company, and DIN CERTO, which is their partner association.
Once the disclosure is signed, all the information given to BPI about the products is sent to DIN CERTO. DIN CERTO will review all the information and the test results that have been provided for the product.
The organization then does due diligence to confirm the information is accurate and authentic. They will then decide whether they want to approve the product or not.
BPI Licensing Agreement
Once DIN CERTO signs off on the approval the fourth step in the process involves the signing of a licensing agreement between the company who submitted the request and BPI.
This licensing agreement gives the company permission to place the BPI logo on packaging and promotional materials. This licensing agreement will remain valid for at least 3 years after the product has been approved.
Preparation of Advertising and Promotional Materials
In the final step, the company with the approved product will start preparing advertising materials, web pages, and other promotional materials so that BPI can see how their logo and name will be used. Once approval has been given the company can use and promote its officially certified products.
The Benefits of Certified Compostable vs. Non-Certified
Getting BPI certified is not easy. The rigorous testing process means that products have the highest certification possible. This can have an impact on how consumers and companies view products. As we are faced with natural disaster after natural disaster society is becoming increasingly environmentally conscious.
This growing shift to a more sustainable lifestyle means that customers are quick to gravitate towards companies that use compostable packaging and disposables. Being BPI certified tells these consumers that they can rest assured that once they are done with the product they can dispose of the packaging without harming the environment.
Classic plastic packaging is usually sent to a landfill or burned. Landfills are one of the biggest environmental issues facing the world today, and the smoke from burning garbage is harmful to our health and to the environment.
Using BPI-certified products is beneficial to your company because it'll impress your customers, but you can also sleep well at night knowing that you're doing what you can to help reduce the environmental impact of waste.
The Value of Certification
As you can see there are a lot of benefits to getting BPI certified. While the BPI certification process is a lengthy one, it is well worth it for manufacturers to pursue it. As a valued CiboWares customers you can rest easy knowing that many of our products are BPI Certified.
Which CiboWares products are BPI Certified?
Several of our Primeware products (An AmerCareRoyal brand) are BPI Certified. Each manufacturer that goes through certifications is given a certificate #- ours is 144084.
If you'd like to see a complete list of AmerCareRoyal's BPI certified products you can find that on the BPI website here.