Compostable Packaging use case results

Strong support for use case principles

General consensus on the principles and feedback have given us a direction for the next steps of a roadmap to product stewardship.

05 November 2021

donuts in a box

In June 2021, our Compostable Packaging Technical Advisory Group (CTAG) undertook a “Use Case” consultation with stakeholders connected to compostable packaging.

The aim of the use-case was to gain consensus on which material and application combinations should or should not be allowed into a product stewardship scheme for compostable packaging.

These were tied to five overarching key principles:

  1. Compostable packaging (or products) should have the purpose (primarily or secondarily) to collect and deliver nutrients of value to composters, or
  2. Packaging or products which are common contaminants of the compost system (fruit stickers/tape, plant pots) should all be made compostable, and/or
  3. Packaging or products which commonly contaminate recycling streams with food waste or nutrient residue should all be made compostable, and
  4. Compostable packaging or products (or the residues they contain) must not cause harm to compost, and must be certified to an agreed standard/s and agree to abide by relevant regulation, and
  5. Compostable packaging or products should bring better environmental benefits over alternative materials

 

60 submissions were received. They showed strong support for the five key principles with work suggested to refine the principles.

The consultation suggested a range of application and material-type combinations, with submitters suggesting further definition of the principles taking precedence over specifying application/material combinations.

We also asked stakeholders about their support for such an agreed use-case and the prescribed application/material type combinations. Support for the use-case concept was high, as well as strong support for ingredients labelling to a managing entity.

Support for items being allowed in the system if they did not meet the use-case criteria but had a potential second-life as a caddy liner, was not as highly supported.

Next Steps

The CTAG will now progress working to define further the key principles, as an alternative to prescribing application/material type combinations.

This will form part of the “Roadmap to product stewardship for compostable packaging” document, currently under construction.

Further information:

Read the background to the use case consultation

View the webinar (members only, create an account if you haven’t already)

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