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Compostable products

Standard ISO 18606
Packaging and the environment — Organic recycling

Solid waste management is of growing interest worldwide. Cities and countries are trying to dispose of fewer and fewer substances (landfill and incineration without energy recovery) by finding various recovery solutions to transform waste into usable products. Plastics recovery technologies include material recovery (mechanical recycling, chemical recycling or feedstock recycling and biological or organic recycling) and energy recovery in the form of usable heat under controlled combustion conditions.

For consumers, it is difficult to differentiate between compostable and non-compostable products, and to know whether certain products will not alter the quality of their compost. Designed with this in mind, BNQ certification leaves no doubt. Products certified according to two new certification programs, based on the requirements of two international standards, i.e., ISO 17088 and ISO 18606, provide a framework not only for plastics or products made from plastics, but also for other products (cardboard, packaging, etc.) that can be certified as compostable.

The requirements of the standards relate in particular to the following aspects:

a) disintegration during composting;
b) aerobic biodegradation;
c) absence of negative effects of the compost on terrestrial organisms and plant growth;
d) regulated metals and other substances;
e) volatile solids.

These programs replace the CAN/BNQ 0017-088 program, previously offered by the BNQ, based on the Canadian adoption of the withdrawn international standard ISO 17088:2008.

To allow certified companies to comply with the requirements of these two new certification programs, BNQ will offer a transition period.


Certification Offer 

Certification is open to all manufacturers wishing to have the conformity of their products recognized, as well as to those responsible for enforcing current regulations.

Manufacturers wishing to have their products certified must comply with the requirements set out in the documents ISO 17088 Certification Requirements and ISO 18606 Certification Requirements, which are available from BNQ. Please contact us.

To be identified as compostable, products must meet the requirements of standards ISO 17088 and ISO 18606, through appropriate laboratory testing representative of conditions prevailing in industrial composting facilities.

These certification programs are accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).