Our Certifications: Green and Growing

Environmental responsibility is an integral part of the packaging industry. Companies must rely on global end-of-life packaging standards to determine the validity of a product’s sustainable capabilities.

Whether producers are influenced by consumer trends, local laws, or personal convictions, there are many reasons to seek out eco-friendly certifications. Obtaining a compostability certification is one way to demonstrate that a product has been developed responsibly and is safe for the environment.  

Well-known organizations such as BNQ, TÜV AUSTRIA, and BPI are third-party entities that make it easy for customers to recognize sustainable companies through their rigorous certification processes. At Cascades Sonoco, we don’t treat this endeavor lightly. Investing in these certifications requires time, effort, and money to perform tests that demonstrate our products’ end-of-life outcomes.  

At this time, our FlexSHIELD, SurfSHIELD, and FluteSHIELD products are FDA-, CFIA- & EUR certified for food safety. Additionally, FlexSHIELD holds compostability certifications (BNQ and TÜV AUSTRIA) as well as SurfSHIELD (TÜV).  

How Does a Product Become Certified Compostable?

For a product to be considered compostable, it must disintegrate into organic waste without leaving traces of harmful substances like chemicals or plastics. Often, compostability standards for industrial composting facilities are differentiated from backyard composting due to controlled factors like moisture and heat.  

To display the sustainability certifications that shoppers see in-store, companies must work closely with the certification entities to measure a product’s performance according to a given standard. These compostability specifications are created by regionally- and internationally-recognized organizations. Because there are multiple widely accepted standards, certifications may differ in the specifications they follow.  

For example, our own products are certified under multiple standards, including EN 13432 through TÜV AUSTRIA (European Standard) and ISO 17088 through BNQ Canada (International Organization for Standardization). These international standards, originally designed to test the performance of compostable plastics, show that our packaging satisfies the requirements for composting in industrial facilities.  

Now, we are looking forward to meeting the North American standards through an ongoing certification process with the Biodegradable Product Institute, or BPI. This organization adheres to the ASTM standards (American Society for Testing and Materials) through its guidelines for composting plastics and barrier coatings.

As a long-time innovator in the sustainable packaging market, we are pleased to continue meeting the highest standards in recyclability, repulpability, and compostability—furthering our set of certifications and showing that we mean what we say.

Do you want to learn more about the benefits of recyclable packaging? Read our blog discussing the future of EPR laws in America