ADVANCING THE RECOVERY OF COMPOSTABLE PACKAGING 

Composting Consortium

 

The Composting Consortium is on a mission to build a world where organics are kept in a circular economy. Compostable packaging can offer a means to reduce food waste and mitigate climate impacts by diverting food scraps toward composting infrastructure.

First, we need to ensure compostable packaging is aligned to the realities of downstream composting systems and provide incentives to diversify composters’ feedstock. Composting infrastructure needs to be scaled to accept food waste and food-contact compostable packaging, and compostable packaging must be designed with recovery in mind. Collective effort is needed to bring this potential to life.

The Consortium brings together leading voices across the composting and compostable packaging ecosystem––from the world’s leading brands to best-in-class composters running the operations on the ground. Through in-market tests, deep research and industry-wide collaboration, we are laying the groundwork for a more robust, resilient composting system that can keep organics and compostable packaging in circulation.

 

Learn about composting’s role in a circular economy

 

Our approach spans four key areas. Explore our research and insights below.

Consumer Insights

Learn how U.S. consumers understand and engage with compostable packaging, and how design and labeling can support the proper disposal of food-contact compostable packaging.

  • Unpack U.S. Consumer Perception of Compostable Packaging

    This report unpacks effective design and labeling techniques to improve the proper diversion of food-contact compostable packaging to the appropriate material stream.

     

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The Compost Policy Toolkit

Read our recommendations on how policy can support responsible collection of compostable packaging and the scale up of organics recovery in the U.S.

  • Advance Consistent, Effective Design & Labeling Standards

    This policy brief explains the importance of clear and consistent labeling designs standards for compostable packaging to reduce packaging waste.

     

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  • Optimize EPR Through Comprehensive Needs Assessments

    This policy brief explains the importance of conducting needs assessments for EPR that account for composting infrastructure and compostable packaging. 

     

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  • Expand Compost Markets and Build Healthier Soils

    This policy brief explains the role that policy can play to support robust compost end markets, enrich soil quality and promote sustainable practices.  

     

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  • Download the Full Policy Toolkit

    The Compost Policy Toolkit offers valuable insights for navigating the complexities of compostable packaging policy and food waste diversion, including the three policy briefs listed above.

     

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Compostable Packaging Breakdown

Find out how effectively food-contact compostable packaging is breaking down today, and the composting conditions that best support disintegration of compostable packaging.

  • Discover How Compostable Packaging Disintegrates at Composting Facilities

    This report shares from an 18-month study––the largest known field test of certified, food-contact compostable packaging conducted in North America––revealing the realities of compostable plastic and fiber disintegration in diverse in-field composting conditions.

     

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  • Can Large-Scale Anaerobic Digestion Effectively Process Compostable Packaging?

    This initial assessment identifies the barriers and opportunities that exist for processing compostable packaging through anaerobic digestion in the United States, pulling insights and examples from the UK and EU market. 

     

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Food-Waste Composting Infrastructure

Discover what it will take to improve recovery pathways for compostable packaging and organics, and remove contamination from our organics streams.

  • Learn About Contamination at Composting Facilities

    Based on an in-field study with 10 compost manufacturers across the U.S., the Consortium released new data revealing the amount, types and cost of contamination at composting facilities––providing an industry baseline for contamination rates and assign a value to the cost of contamination to support the composting industry  

     

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  • Navigate Permitting for Composting Facilities

    Permitting for composting facilities is complex, but critical. The Composting Consortium breaks it down.

     

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  • Explore 4 Steps to a More Resilient U.S. Composting System

    This white paper considers the key role of composting, one of the earliest forms of material cycling, in the transition to a circular economy––one where waste is eliminated, materials are circulated, and nature is regenerated.

     

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Consortium Partners

The Composting Consortium is managed by Closed Loop Partners’ Center for the Circular Economy. PepsiCo and the NextGen Consortium are founding partners of the Consortium. Colgate-Palmolive, Danaher, Eastman, The Kraft Heinz Company, Mars, Incorporated, and Target Corporation joined as supporting partners, and the Biodegradable Products Institute, US Composting Council and the U.S. Plastics Pact joined as industry partners. Our advisory partners include 5 Gyres, Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), ReFED, Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA), the Compostable Field Testing Program (CFTP), the Compost Research & Education Foundation (CREF), the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), University College London, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, Western Michigan University and World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Eco-Cycle.

Our compost manufacturer partners include Ag Choice, Atlas Organics, Black Earth Compost, Dirt Hugger, Happy Trash Can Curbside Composting, Napa Recycling & Waste Services, Specialized Environmental Technologies, Inc. (SET), Veteran Compost and Windham Solid Waste Management.