On September 22, 2020, the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) announced the release of a set of guidelines for labeling and identifying compostable packaging. It is described as providing “category and material-specific recommendations designed to make it easier for end-users, consumers, and composters to distinguish between compostable and non-compostable items.” Due to contamination from non-compostable materials in their incoming waste streams, some composting facilities have decided to no longer accept compostable packaging and products. In an article, news provider Waste Dive published an overview of the guidelines. They include recommending the use of standard compost certifications as well as improved visual communication of a product’s compostability through use of color schemes and clear wording. The guidelines also cite and build on flagship regulatory requirements on degradable products that came into force in July 2020 within the US state of Washington.

“Distinguishing between compostable and non-compostable items is extremely difficult for many composters,” commented Frank Franciosi, Executive Director of the US Composting Council (USCC). “These new guidelines will help compost manufacturers by reducing the amount of contamination entering their facilities, and should boost confidence in accepting food scraps mixed with certified compostable packaging.”

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BPI (September 22, 2020). “BPI Releases Guidelines for Labeling and Identification of Compostable Products.”

E.A. Crunden (October 5, 2020). “New guidelines aim to address labeling confusion for compostable packaging.” Waste Dive


BPI (September 2020). “Guidelines For The Labeling And Identification Of Compostable Products And Packaging.”