On Thursday, October 27 from 11:30am-1pm, join the Product Stewardship Institute online to hear experts discuss the opportunities and challenges of compostable plastics, including achieving clarity on definitions and labeling, addressing materials in packaging EPR laws, how EPR funding can be used to create new infrastructure for compostable plastics, and strategies for best managing these materials in a rapidly evolving industry.
Consumers are pushing back against packaging: In a 2022 study, 75%+ of Americans indicated that they would support a single-use plastics ban, and 56% would hold companies responsible for plastic packaging. In response, some companies pivoting from petroleum-based plastics have embraced those made from plants and bio waste, which are known as “compostable” plastics.
Although these materials are rapidly evolving, they do pose challenges. In the United States, there is limited infrastructure to collect and process these materials; globally, supply chains can compete with food production. Additionally, people often attempt to recycle these “compostable” products, which contaminates recycling streams. Although there are national standards — including ASTM in the United States and EN in Europe (as well as labeling laws in Minnesota, California, Maryland, and Washington State) — governments can find it difficult to enforce what can or cannot be marketed as “compostable.”
The Product Stewardship Institute is a policy advocate and consulting 501(c)(3) nonprofit that powers the emerging circular economy. We rely on the generosity of our members, partners, and supporters to convene diverse stakeholders to build extended producer responsibility (EPR) policies, programs, and laws.