How do I tell if an item is compostable?
Minnesota compost facilities will only accept food-service items such as paper or plastic cups, bowls, plates, to-go containers or silverware or straws if they are BPI or Cedar Grove certified compostable. Plastic-lined items or entirely plastic products must have the logo on the item itself to be accepted in organics collection or drop-off programs. Unlined paper items (ex. plates) do not yet always have certification on the item itself, however, the logo can be found on the packaging these items come in - an example of this is shown below. The packaging for paper plates has the BPI logo on it.
Terms like 'biodegradable', 'oxo-degradable', 'earth-friendly', 'made from plants' etc. do NOT mean the item is accepted in organics recycling collection or drop-off programs. Items must have the BPI or Cedar Grove logo on them. These organizations perform third-party testing to verify that products break down fully and safely in the composting process and that they leave no unnatural byproducts. The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) has a catalog of all items that have been tested and passed their third-party certification. When purchasing items, look for the logos to verify compostability and if you question if a food-service item is compostable, search for the product on BPI's website: www.bpiworld.org.