Material & Component Certification 
Author: Kari Rolnick

An update to CMA’s certification program is now live. CMA has introduced a track for materials and
components to now be eligible for acceptance and certification alongside their finished product peers.
Historically, CMA has only certified finished products related to food service or yard waste applications.
As product design evolves, packaging has become more complex in some respects. To provide some
assurance that the materials or components of a larger item are already vetted by CMA, we will now
certify or accept (as applicable) these parts on their own. This provides material and component
manufacturers with evidence that their parts can be used in a more complex compostable product with
confidence that they will disintegrate in industrial compost processes.

Materials and components will be evaluated in the same way in which finished products are evaluated:
Do they meet the applicable ASTM laboratory requirements? Do they meet the applicable field test
requirement? Do they demonstrate total fluorine <100 ppm? If applicable, do they comply with FDA
regulations for food contact materials, 21CFR 170-199 and/or FCN, if applicable, and good
manufacturing practices 21 CFR 174.5? If all requirements are met, an acceptance or certification letter
will be issued. To qualify, material or components must still be intended for food or yard applications. 
CMA will also issue a specification sheet that identifies the specific parameters of the
material/component’s acceptance/certification. These will include attributes such as: manufacturer,
thickness, density, grade(s), configurations, compost technology, etc. This specification sheet can be
shared with customers who are interested to know what configuration(s) have been vetted by CMA.

Any finished product using the certified component or material must be field tested in its final form and
must be tested to the required specifications and laboratory tests as outlined above to be certified in its
own rite. For single-layer materials/components, they will be certified at the maximum thickness that
passed field testing. Any thinner construction would also be certified. For a multi-layer
material/component, they will be certified for the exact layer configuration that passed field testing. Any
construction with a layer removed or utilizing thinner layer(s) would also be certified. Products that are
constituently identical and the same configuration as the accepted material/component may be line
item accepted (LIA) at CMA’s discretion. This does not apply to any product that modifies the properties
of the component (e.g., crystallization).

For questions or additional information about CMA’s material and component acceptance and
certification program, please contact Kari Rolnick at If you would
like to arrange a submission, please contact Diana Lloyd-Jones at