The marketing claim biodegradable and compostable are powerful green marketing buzzwords. Many unsavory marketing companies prey on consumer’s desires and make false claims about a product’s biodegradability. If these phony products are sent to a compost facility, that can contaminate the entire process, harming the business operations of the composter and jeopardizing the health of soils that use such contaminated compost.
Recognizing the urgent need to prevent false claims, standards organizations like ASTM and European Committee for Normalisation (CEN) created objective, science-based tests to prove that certain products will biodegrade completely and safely in a commercial compost facility. Today these tests (ASTM D6400 and D6868, and EN-13432) are widely accepted as a fair and accurate test to prove a product will safely disintegrate in a compost process, and leave no harmful resides in the soil.
To further ensure the integrity of marketing claims, organizations like the European Bioplastics Council and the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) created consumer logos that are licensed to companies that pay a fee to use them. These organizations have requirements in which members must 1) successfully complete ASTM, EN or ISO testing for compostability and 2) have those test results INDEPENDENTLY certified.
If products meet these criteria, they are eligible to be certified by the respective organization.
The products advertised on compostables.org are selected from item lists published by DIN Certco, Vinçotte (Europe), EBPA (Asia) and the BPI (North America), and also available on Amazon.com.