- Choose products packaged in bioplastic/ biomass over those in petroleum-based plastic
- Select products that are made of ingredients you recognize as natural
- Rely on third party certifications for accurate information
A few third-party organizations that offer voluntary standards and labels to companies have created scientifically based, standards and certifications for biodegradability of certain materials.
Companies voluntarily participate in third party certification programs to assure their customers that their products behave as advertised. There are several independent organizations that offer certifications, such as:
- The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) is a non-profit organization that educates manufacturers and the public about biodegradability as it relates to composting bio-plastics materials and other coatings and packaging that may go into commercial compost facilities. ASTM standards 6400 and 6868 and its Compostable label may be found on products such as garbage bags, service ware, and packaging.
- Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), an independent certifier, has developed certification standards for biodegradable soaps, detergents, and cleaners.
There are multiple advantages to using and properly disposing of biodegradable and compostable products that:
- Take less time to break down than other solid materials
- Are made from biomass — organic compounds are completely renewable
- Are better for the environment, dispersing very few greenhouse gases
- Often require less than half as much energy to manufacture
- Are non-toxic
- Reduce our dependence on fossil fuels
- Reduce the costs of solid waste disposal
- Divert waste from already overcrowded landfills, thereby reducing groundwater and air pollution via methane