About the Society

Mission and Scope | History | Board of Directors

Mission and Scope

The BEPS is a non-profit scientific society. The objectives of the Society are to promote research, education, and training in the design, synthesis, characterization, testing, and processing of biodegradable and other environmentally degradable polymers as well as to facilitate information exchange among researchers in the areas of agriculture, industrial products, biomedical applications, environmental and wildlife protection, forestry, and waste management. As such the BEPS seeks to be a valuable organization to all researchers interested in renewable and synthetic degradable polymers.

The full by-laws of the BEPS can be viewed here.

Activities of the society

Information exchange

The primary mechanism of information exchange available to BEPS members and other individuals is participation at our Annual Meeting. These meetings are typically in August or September and consist of scientific, marketing, and informational presentations over several days. A broad range of topics is presented at the meeting through both oral and poster sessions. Of course, key topics such as Biodegradation Testing and Standards, Synthesis, Processing and Blending, and Applications are always included. A workshop session is usually available at the beginning or end of the meeting for those looking for more in-depth knowledge on a related subject area.
BEPS meeting organizers balance a very full meeting program with a need to offer free time for informal meetings among the attendees. We hold our Poster Session in conjunction with a social event. By placing posters in the same room with food and beverage, we have substantially increased the discussion time spent here by most of our meeting attendees! Our Annual Meeting programs are well attended; the past several meetings have accommodated between 130-170 people.


The Society adopted as its official journal the Journal of Environmental Polymer Degradation in 1995. The co-founders of this journal, Rich Gross and Steve McCarthy, with the assistance of an editorial board and fine scientific contributions, have been successful in establishing this as one of the premier journals communicating developments in the area of environmentally degradable polymers.

Links with other organisations

In recent years, we have coordinated with the Degradable Plastics Council and the International Biodegradable Product Manufacturers Association (IBPMA) for them to hold meetings on-site at the BEPS Annual Meeting. We are looking to forge such relationships and to benefiting from the experience and scope of audience and meeting content of sister organisations. Increasingly, the BEPS also sees a need for cooperation and collaboration among organizations that sponsor scientific meetings and participate in dissemination of information to the public, industry, government and policy sectors.