Advancing the Recovery of Compostable Packaging

 

The demand for alternatives to traditional fossil fuel-based single-use plastic packaging is rising, and the market for compostable packaging is poised to grow 17% annually between 2020 and 2027. As the market for compostable packaging grows, there needs to be more widely available composting infrastructure to meet this growth and recover these valuable materials. Mounting food and plastic packaging waste, and increasingly urgent climate risks, are galvanizing diverse stakeholders toward concerted action, from eco-conscious customers, to governments, to brands.

The Composting Consortium, managed by the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, is a multi-year collaboration across the entire compostable packaging value chain to pilot industry-wide solutions and build a roadmap for investment in technologies and infrastructure that enable the recovery of compostable food packaging and food scraps.

Why Compostable Packaging?

One-third of global greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity can be attributed to the way we produce, process and package food. When done thoughtfully and collaboratively, packaging reduction and design innovations present robust environmental, economic and social benefits. 

Compostable packaging presents potential environmental, economic and social benefits, offering a means to reduce food waste and mitigate climate impacts by diverting food scraps within packaging toward composting infrastructure, and avoiding the greenhouse gases emitted when food waste ends up in landfill.

Our Goal

The Consortium brings together leading voices in the composting ecosystem in the United States to identify the best path forward to increase the recovery of compostable food packaging and drive toward circular outcomes.

 

Our Approach

The Consortium will work across multiple workstreams to identify best practices for consumer understanding of compostable packaging labeling and collection; establish when compostable versus reusable or recyclable packaging applications are most appropriate; collaborate on best practices to inform policy making; and build an investment roadmap for expanding composting infrastructure to recover compostable packaging and food scraps.

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, The Kraft Heinz Company, Mars, Incorporated, and Target Corporation joined as supporting partners, and the Biodegradable Products Institute and the U.S. Plastics Pact joined as industry partners. Our advisory partners include Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA), Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI), Google, ReFED, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), TIPA Corp Ltd., University College London, Western Michigan University and World Wildlife Fund (WWF).