On November 9, the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners launched the Composting Consortium, together with Founding Partners PepsiCo and the NextGen Consortium, which is composed of Starbucks, McDonald’s and other foodservice brands. “The Founding Partners are joined by Supporting Partners Colgate-Palmolive, The Kraft Heinz Company, Mars, Incorporated, and Target Corporation, as well as Industry Partners the Biodegradable Products Institute and the U.S. Plastics Pact,” says Kate Daly, Managing Director of the Center for the Circular Economy. “The Consortium brings together leading voices in the composting ecosystem in the United States to identify the best path forward to increase the recovery of compostable food packaging and drive toward circular outcomes.”
The Consortium, which has been under development for several years, will be tackling multiple work streams to identify best practices for consumer understanding of compostable packaging labeling and collection; establish when compostable versus reusable or recyclable packaging applications are most appropriate; collaborate on best practices to inform policy making; and build an investment roadmap for expanding composting infrastructure to recover compostable packaging and food scraps. Adds Daly, “The Composting Consortium recognizes the current challenges in this growing packaging sector and calls for unity and clarity across stakeholders. New compostable materials need to be researched with diligence and deployed strategically as one line of defense against waste. There is no quick fix to a complex global waste challenge, and the Consortium looks to chart a clear pathway forward for the industry.”
The landscape around compostable packaging and composting infrastructure is rapidly evolving. Currently, the demand for alternatives to traditional fossil fuel-based single-use plastic packaging is rising, and the market for compostable packaging is poised to grow 17% annually between 2020 and 2027, according to Data Bridge Market Research. Consortium Advisory Partners include Compost Manufacturing Alliance, Foodservice Packaging Institute, ReFED, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and the World Wildlife Fund.