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Analysis & Field Research

Literature Review on the Impacts to the Composting Value Chain When Introducing Compostable Foodservice Packaging

PDF, Last Updated Jan 2017

In 2016, the Foodservice Packaging Institute’s Paper Recovery Alliance/Plastics Recovery Group commissioned a study to review the existing literature regarding the impacts of compostable foodservice packaging (FSP) at different points in the composting value chain. Key Finding: there is a growing body of evidence that shows the use of compostable foodservice packaging can lead to an increase of food scrap diversion and a reduction in contamination. Available data suggest that compostable FSP use, in conjunction with a suite of programs that include outreach, education, new infrastructure, and models of the desired behavior, can increase food scrap diversion rates and reduce observed contamination rates.


Bioplastics Sorting Project

PDF, Last Updated Jul 2013

A report sponsored by CalRecycle that provides the technical findings of the Future 500 Bioplastics Sorting Project on the research and analysis of discarded plastics sent to landfills in California, and the development of an optical sorting system to test removal of bioplastics from waste streams.


Managing Compostable Bags At Anaerobic Digestion Plants

PDF, Last Updated Sep 2012

September 2012 BioCycle article that analyzes the best practices for treating residential food waste in Italy, as well as processing compostable bags in an AD (anaerobic digestive) system.


Determining the Amount of Plastic and Compostable Plastic in Compost "Overs"

PDF, Last Updated Jan 2012

A report on a compostable plastics disintegration study and the contamination of compost "overs" from non-degradable plastics.


Compostability Testing

Webpage, Last Updated Jan 2012

Submission guidelines that tell compostable plastics vendors how to go about having their material tested by Cedar Grove Composting for a fee.


Compostable Plastics Fact Sheet

PDF, Last Updated Jan 2009

A Compostable Plastics study sponsored by Calrecycle that includes information ranging from definitions and statutes to ongoing research, why compostable plastic is used, and its affect on the waste stream.


Evaluation of the Performance of Rigid Plastic Packaging Containers, Bags, and Food Service Packaging in Full-Scale Commercial Composting

PDF, Last Updated Mar 2007

A CalRecycle (State of California) research report provides testing parameters as well as testing results for compostable rigid plastic packaging containers.


Performance Evaluation of Environmentally Degradable Plastic Packaging and Disposable Food Service Ware — Final Report

PDF, Last Updated Jan 2007

The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) in 2007 contracted with California State University (CSU), Chico to perfrom this study and report on the following: The designed-use performance and compostability of commercially available products and packaging that claim to be compostable and degradable; The degradability of several commercially available compostable plastics under laboratory conditions; How well degradable plastic products decompose in actual composting facilities and in a simulated marine environment; The potential for degradable plastics to contaminate conventional recycled plastics.


Biodegradation of Compostable Plastics in Green Yard-Waste Compost Environment

PDF, Last Updated Dec 2005

A report from California on the biodegradation of compostable plastics in a common yardwaste compost environment.



This toolkit is designed to help you determine if a compostable plastics program is appropriate for your organization and to guide you in properly managing your compostable plastics.

*Resources outlined in this toolkit are examples from a variety of sources to help facilitate a better understanding of compostable products and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (CCREF).

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