Compostability Testing

Compostability Field Testing, Substrate Review and Product Development Services 

As cities, businesses and residents strive for zero waste, the use of compostable food service ware is increasing. Cedar Grove and the Compost Feedstock Testing Institute (CFTI) work to support these programs while maintaining a high standard of compost quality across 20 composting facilities throughout the U.S. To accomplish higher food waste diversion and minimize contamination in urban feed stocks, Cedar Grove and its affiliated partners provide a program of technical review and field testing of compostable products to determine their true feasibility as food related feed stock when shipped to fully permitted industrial composting facilities.

Items submitted for Cedar Grove and CFTI acceptance include bags, utensils, plates, bowls, clamshells, wraps and more. As new products are developed to meet growing market demands, Cedar Grove and CFTI provide the expertise to determine how well the products will break down in modern, large scale compost manufacturing technologies. For general questions about this, please contact: or call 360-329-4281.

Requirements for Cedar Grove/CFTI Testing and Substrate Review

To submit items for Cedar Grove/CFTI testing and acceptance, please note the following requirements:

  • You must be the manufacturer (or an authorized agent for the manufacturer)
  • Items must be related to food service or yard waste collection
  • Guidelines below must be followed

Other Technologies Available for Testing Trials (please visit for updates on facilities and locations)

Testing trials occur every month and/or when enough samples are collected to constitute a testing round.  Testing technologies in the cycle include:

  • Cedar Grove in-vessel, positive aeration, membrane laminate technology
  • Aerated static pile
  • Mass bed
  • Turned windrows
  • Agitated continuous flow systems
  • Others as requested

(Note that Cedar Grove and the CFTI only offer testing in aerobic compost manufacturing facilities.  Anaerobic digestion is a distinctively different and separate technology than composting, and CFTI does not offer testing in these types of units).

Submission guidelines:

Include three (3) to five (5) samples for each item submitted per technology test and include a unique Identification Number written on at least one of the items. (EXAMPLE- if you are testing in ASP and WINDROW, send three (3) to five (5) samples for each technology to cover both tests (or 10 samples in total).


Compostable Food Service Products

A minimum fee will be charged for up to ten (10) food service items submitted for testing based on each testing technology.


Items Per Batch

$3,750Per Test batch

Up to 10

Compostable Kitchen Bucket and Collection Container Liners

A minimum fee will be charged for up to three (3) compostable bag liner(s) submitted for testing.


*Items Per Batch

$1,125Per Test Batch

Up to 3

*You may submit smallest to largest size, along with lowest and highest mil thickness to cover all sizes and thicknesses in your product line.

Paper and Wood Items Substrate Review

Please inquire for fees associated with food service items submitted for technical analysis only. This would include items such as wood stir sticks, paper napkins, unvarnished and uncoated paperboard, etc.

Prerequisites for Field Testing:

Category A: Items must meet requirements for ASTM D6400 or EN 13432 testing, including: bioplastics, co-polymers, PLA coated paperboard and paper, and other similar items

Fill out the attached profile for all groups of items submitted.  Please print out profile and sign.  Profiles can be sent via email in pdf file format to Include BPI certification or ASTM lab results on finished product. Note that ASTM lab results must include:

  • Heavy Metals Analysis
  • Spectral Analysis
  • Phytoxicity
  • Biodegradation

Category B: Items that meet requirements for ASTM D6868 testing: plastics used as coatings on compostable substrates and fibrous materials.

Fill out the attached profile for all groups of items submitted.  Please print out profile and sign.  Profiles can be sent via email in pdf file format to

Include BPI certification or ASTM lab results on finished product (note that ASTM lab results must include:

  • Heavy Metals Analysis
  • Spectral Analysis
  • Phytoxicity
  • Biodegradation

Category C: Items that may not require ASTM testing (paper towels, napkins, wood, uncoated or clay coated paperboard, and other similar items that are not bioplastics, molded fiber, coated papers, or PLA/paperboard composites)

Fill out the attached profile for all groups of items submitted.  Please print out profile and sign.  Profiles can be sent via email in pdf file format to

Send MSDS on any inks, coatings, or treatments (Note: If MSDS reports show hazardous properties, also send FDA approval for direct food contact).

** After technical review, items may require field testing if information on product is not adequate to determine acceptability.  A staff team member will contact you for testing authorization prior to submitting it for the next relevant testing round.

Other Testing and Technical Services:

Pre-ASTM Product Testing

If you have specific products currently pending ASTM results, our program offers expedited and concurrent field testing.  If the product(s) meet the disintegration requirements at the end of the testing cycle, you may then submit ASTM results showing that you have met the additional compostability specifications. With confirmation of ASTM results and acceptable filed disintegration testing results, you will then receive an acceptance and inclusion on the Cedar Grove published list.

Cost:      $4750.00 (up to 5 samples or prototypes; each addl., $795.00)

Note- All testing fees must be paid at time of sample submission.

Service Includes:

Field testing
Pass/fail report
Official confirmation/denial or acceptance

*** Product and Substrate Research Testing

Research testing is designed to test a variety of products or prototypes that may have slight differences in composition.  You can run up to five different substrates, components or specific items and product prototypes per testing batch. If you have questions on research testing please contact

Cost:      $4995 (up to 5 samples or prototypes; each addl., $1350)

Service Includes:

  • Field testing
  • Detailed written report with information on the variable and comparative breakdown of each “recipe”/prototype sample
  • Optional one hour debrief/report review
  • (Note: this test can also be done as a preliminary ASTM disintegration test).

All documentation from these test results must accompany samples and/or be tied by unique Identification Number and submitted electronically.

Where to submit samples, paperwork and payments:

Samples and All Related DocumentsMake Checks Payable and Send To:

CFTI Testing Center

c/o Susan Thoman

1771 Vista Rama Dr. E.

Port Orchard, WA 98366


Compost Manufacturing Alliance

P.O. Box 1063

Port Orchard, WA 98366

All required items and documentation must be received by the 5th business day of the month of to be submitted in that month’s testing round. Protocols and requirements may change at our discretion.

Please e-mail any questions or comments you may have to:

Our team strives to answer all questions in a timely and professional manner at all times.

Protocol to submit on behalf of a product manufacturer

To avoid repeated testing of the same products, and to ensure the accuracy of the information submitted, we require that only the product manufacturer completes the profile form. If a private label company would like to submit information for testing of products, the submission must be accompanied with a letter from the manufacturer stating that the information provided on the profile form is true and correct and gives authorization for all testing information to be provided to the authorized agent representing them.

Use of  Cedar Grove, CFTI or CMA logo prohibited without valid consent and agreement

The testing on an item and an indication of acceptance does NOT authorize ANY use of any of CMA or CFTI logos, trademarks, trade names, letterhead or company name on such item,  web sites, on the packaging of such item, or on marketing materials related to such items.  Any such uses can be authorized, at our discretion, and only in pursuant to a formal written license agreement through the Compost Manufacturing Alliance.  To learn more about logo use, please write to

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