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What Does USDA Biobased Certified Mean?

What Does USDA Biobased Certified Mean?

Bambu recently announced that even more of our products are USDA Biobased Certified.  It sounds great, but what does it mean? With so many so-called sustainable brands out there, it can be hard to know what’s really making a difference.  Certifications are an important way to show that eco-friendly action is truly being taken. And the USDA Biobased Certification is one that we’re quite proud of here at Bambu.  Here’s why: 

The USDA BioPreferred Program was created in 2002. The goal was to increase the use of renewable agricultural resources and the purchase of biobased products. And to reduce our nation's reliance on petroleum and contribute to reducing adverse environmental and health impacts. The Biobased Certification was also created to give transparency to customers. So that consumers could be sure what they’re buying is as eco-friendly as it’s promised to be. Companies that take part in the BioPreferred Program use third-party testing to ensure that their products meet the Biobased Certified standards.

What does 'Biobased' mean?

The term "biobased product" means a product derived from raw materials such as plants and other renewable agricultural, marine, and forestry materials. Biobased products generally provide an alternative to conventional petroleum derived products. This means that biobased products are much more eco-friendly than their non-biobased counterparts.  With the USDA Biobased certification, you’ll know just how much your product is biobased. And that percentage is certified by the government and regulated via third-party testing. 

Why Choose Biobased Products?

With so many options to choose from, why pick biobased products? When you’re choosing between products, looking for a Biobased certification tells you a few important things.  First, the certification shows that the product is tested via a third-party for biobased materials. That means that “greenwashing” (touting eco-friendly qualities without proof) is out the window. A Biobased certified product is proven to be biobased. And is certified by the government, so you know the company truly did the work it’s promising. Next, using biobased products lessens your impact on the environment.  Because biobased products are made with natural materials such as plants, they use renewable sources to create their products.  This means that you’re not supporting the production of items that use petroleum, and are instead supporting green production. Plus, biobased products are made from natural materials, so you can say goodbye to harsh chemicals or unpronounceable ingredients. Choosing biobased products is better for you and your family.

bamboo plates

bambu’s Path to Biobased Certified

bambu exists to create and promote sensibly designed products for everyday living without plastic. From our first day in business, it’s been our goal to provide products that are as good for you as they are for the planet.  We’ve worked hard to ensure that our supply chain is ethical and sustainable. We believe that transparency and accountability is essential.  And for us, it is not enough to simply say our products are biodegradable. There are too many false and unsubstantiated claims being made. “Greenwashing” products to appear sustainable when they aren’t is a huge issue in our industry, and we believe that we must do better. Gaining important certifications is a huge part of our process towards proving that we do what we say. Because our customers deserve the truth.  You should always know what your products are made of.

So in 2010, Bambu applied for and earned its first biobased certification for the company's Veneerware® line of compostable (and biodegradable) bamboo plates, bamboo cutlery and bamboo tableware. Veneerware was the first brand of disposable bamboo plates to earn this designation, and the only brand to create a product made from 100% biobased content. These certifications highlighted that Bambu was on the cutting edge of eco-friendly dinnerware-over a decade ago. 

Our Veneerware bamboo plates, bamboo cutlery, and bamboo napkins are all Certified Biobased Products. Veneerware bamboo plates and bamboo cutlery are also organic certified. Which makes these the only organic and biobased dinnerware available. As just another commitment to transparency, Bambu certifies its sources annually. So you can be sure that we’re doing our job the right way, all the time. Our Veneerware line is also the first and only line of bamboo plates that are compostable (approved and certified by Compost Manufacturing Alliance).  From 2010 to now, our eco-friendly mission has only grown.  And we’re excited to share new additions to our Biobased certification in 2020.

Biobased products

Bamboo utensils

2020 Updates to the bambu Biobased Certification

In 2020, the company extended its certifications to include Biobased certification for the brand's range of bamboo cutting boards, and bamboo utensils. This is another first for Bambu, and we’re proud to announce this achievement. Our expanded Biobased certification includes cooking utensils, eating cutlery and serving utensils, and kids cutlery.  With this expanded certification, bambu is happy to announce that nearly every product we sell is 100% biobased certified. To put that into perspective, the requirement to gain a Biobased certification is only 25% biobased content. We’ve gone above and beyond to use 100% biobased materials in our products, and we’ll continue to do so.

Biobased Products

Another first for the industry

bambu is now home to the first Certified Biobased bamboo cutting boards, bamboo utensils, kids cutlery, and disposable plates. We’re the first and only company to achieve this landmark. With nearly every product in the Bambu range now Biobased 100%, our commitment to sustainability is still on the cutting edge.

Look for the USDA Certified Biobased seal on a product if you want to minimize your impact on the planet. When you look for it, you might surprise yourself with how many biobased items you can find! For more information on the Biobased Certification, go to the wiki page for Biobased Products here, or the USDA Biopreferred page here.  

Biobased Certified isn’t the only thing that sets Bambu apart! From certified organic products to our partnership with outdoor coalitions, we’ve found a lot of ways to ensure what we do is the best for you and the Earth. To learn more about Bambu and our other certifications, check out our certifications page here.

Shop 100% biobased bamboo home goods.


May 23, 2021

Hi Christie! Thanks for your comment. Our natural bamboo cooking utensils are proudly made in China. You can learn more about our manufacturing including our materials and team at

May 13, 2021

Please tell me where the wooden serving/cooking utensils are made. Thank you

christie comunale

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