Today, composters are not able to market finished compost as an input to organic agriculture if they accept compostable packaging as a feedstock, a rule that is governed at the federal level by the National Organic Program (NOP). This is a major barrier for some composters, leading to decisions not to accept compostable packaging. CA AB 1201, signed into law in 2021, set a timeline of 2026 for resolving the Organic Agriculture issue. If the deadline is not extended, compostable products will no longer meet some definitions of “composatble” under CA law.
There are multiple pathways to resolving this issue, including petitions to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), policy/guidance with the NOP, congressional support, etc. BPI is familiar with these processes, having petitioned soil biodegradable mulch film, which is now on the National List of Approved Synthetic Substances.
BPI has a strategy underway, working with groups like the US Composting Council (USCC) and the California Compost Coalition (CCC). The strategy includes meetings with state and federal officials like the CA Dept of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), USDA, and an exhaustive list of prioritized pathways prepared by external counsel. This has helped BPI and its Members prioritize some paths ahead of petitioning the NOSB, which can be a long and encumbered process.