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WIST Compostability Testing Laboratory is
certified by Biodegradable Products Institute 
WIST compostability testing can help
in product development

Companies whose products pass compostability testing by the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology can now market those items using the certification logo of the Biodegradable Products Institute. The BPI logo assures consumers that the product to which it is affixed has been independently tested and verified as compostable according to scientific standards. 

WIST becomes just the fourth laboratory in the United States approved by BPI to perform the third-party testing. The institute established its compostability testing laboratory in 2012 and the laboratory has previously earned ISO 17025 certification, indicating its compliance with strict quality and management standards. 

WIST tests materials according to standards established by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM). The laboratory is certified to perform ASTM D6400 for plastics and D6868 for paper products. The tests determine whether a product will be reduced to compost under industrial - not backyard - composting conditions. 

Consumers are increasingly demanding products that don't have to end up in a landfill after use. Recycling is one way to keep material out of the dump but composting, which degrades material into usable plant food or mulch, is also seen as a viable alternative. And for items contaminated by food waste, such as packaging or single-use serving containers, composting is often the preferred solution. 

However, consumers don't always have an easy way to tell whether a particular item will compost. That's where clear labeling comes in. The state of Washington in 2019 passed legislation requiring that products claiming compostability must be labeled with a logo indicating independent certification according to ASTM standards. Other states are considering similar legislation.  

Paul Fowler, executive director of WIST, said the BPI approval is timely, given recent market and regulatory trends.

"We've seen a lot of new interest in compostability testing as retailers and brands announce their intention to ensure their single-use packaging is either recyclable, reusable or compostable," Fowler said. "Along with our ISO certification and experienced staff, this gives companies another reason to look to WIST for compostability testing."

More information about WIST Compostability Testing

Contact Amber Davidson, WIST Compostability Testing Laboratory Manager

Amber Davidson, WIST Compostability Testing Laboratory Manager, checks equipment in the laboratory.

Midwest Compost School set for July 9-11 in Stevens Point
Classroom and field instruction: Whether you run a large-scale facility or manage your backyard compost pile, are new to composting or an experienced operator, this three-day school will help you improve results. Check the school website for a list of topics covered. 

New for 2020 is a one-day program that meets the annual training requirements of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for source-separated organic material compost facility personnel. $250 to attend July 8th only.

More information and registration
2019 Annual Report is online at WIST website
We've published our latest annual report, an overview of institute activities in 2019. View the PDF of this report online To request a hard copy, email  

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