EPR laws require companies that make products and packaging to pay towards supporting their waste management. However, makers of certified compostable products have historically paid into these programs only to watch their funds be spent on non-compost activities. In 2022, BPI successfully advocated for new EPR laws in Colorado and California to include funding for and representation from the compost industry, details of which can be found here.
How can you tell if a product belongs in the compost bin? How can you tell if it *doesn’t* belong in the compost bin? If the answers were clear, we’d see more food waste diverted, and less contaminants in compost streams.
With a few exceptions, laws throughout the U.S. and Canada fail to make compostable products and non-compostable products easily distinguishable. From misleading terminology to color-coding, BPI has worked with members and allies across the supply chain to develop principles to craft laws to help consumers make the right choice every time.
Certified compostable products can occupy an important role, helping to divert food waste while replacing less beneficial alternatives. However, their benefits are often misunderstood or missed entirely by policies crafted to reduce foodservice packaging pollution. BPI has compiled the following principles to help lawmakers understand the role of different products and strike the optimal balance.
*co-authored with the U.S. Composting Council