An increasing number of products are appearing with claims such as biodegradable, degradable, compostable, biobased, and more. Industry analysts estimate that the growth in biopastics demand will increase 35-40% in less than a 5 year period. And plastic manufacturers are increasing their creativity to source bio-based manufacturing raw materials.
Biobased and compostable plastics, also known as bioplastics, hold the potential to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, foster the development of more sustainable products, and increase the diversion of food waste from landfills.
However, bioplastics are currently presenting challenges and create uncertainty
for a wide array of stakeholders.
1. Inconsistencies in product labeling and a lack of accepted definitions for industry terms cause confusion for consumers upon purchasing and when discarding the products.
2. Because they are identicle, improperly sorted bioplastics can contaminate recycling streams, contaminate feedstock for composting operations, or end up buried in a landfill.
3. Inconsistent rates of decomposition from product to product can impede commercial composting operations.
Click here for a full report on the issues. sponsored by the California Organics Council
Biodegradable does NOT mean Compostable, it simply means that it biodegrades under certain situations.
Be sure to look for COMPOSTABLE products.
In our area, we are fortunate to have Rexius Sustainable Solutions
. Their compost facility has been a valuable partner in Lane County's long history in attempting Zero Waste Events (a moving target). Operations Manager, Jack Hoeck has been instructing events that wish to use compostable food service for delivery to his compost facility to use Cedar Grove Compost Facility's "acceptable compostables list"