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Compostable plastics


The BNQ wishes to inform you that two new certification programs will be implemented as the result of the halt in the process of adopting the international standard ISO 17088: 2021.

Both these programs, which will be available summer 2024, will be based on the requirements of two ISO standards: ISO 17088: 2021 and ISO 18606: 2013 and will enable guidance not only for plastics or products made from plastics, but also for other products (cardboard, packaging, etc.) that can be certified as compostable (defined within the scope of each standard).

To help certified companies to conform to the requirements of these new certification programs, the BNQ will provide a transition period.

You are invited to contact us if you have any questions on the subject.


Standard CAN/BNQ 0017-088
Specifications for compostable plastics

What guarantees that "compostable" plastics are truly compostable? To find out, simply turn to standard CAN/BNQ 0017-088 for information about the relevant requirements and markings applicable to products recognized as compostable. CAN/BNQ 0017-088 follows the BNQ’s adoption of international standard ISO 17088, with a few minor modifications to reflect the Québec reality. Its requirements are applied by all manufacturers interested in ensuring that the plastic they produce is compostable and will not detract from compost quality.


Certification Offer 

Marques de certification - Produits compostablesFor consumers, it can be difficult to distinguish between compostable and non-compostable products, or to tell whether certain products will alter the quality of their compost. With BNQ certification, all doubts are laid to rest. Products certified under the BNQ compostable plastics program meet strict requirements in this regard and have definite value in the minds of consumers. The program is based on four documents, including the BNQ 0017-988 certification protocol.

Certified products must conform to the program’s requirements concerning, in particular, the speed of disintegration and biodegradation, metal content and the absence of negative effects on the ability of the resulting compost to foster plant growth.

Note that the composition of the compostable products covered is not limited to plastics. For example, other products made of natural source materials could be considered compostable if they meet program requirements.

This certification program is accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and is currently the subject of a claim for exemption to the SCC since it is based on an ISO standard that was withdrawn.