August 29, 2023 | Compostable Packaging, Composting, Contamination, Policies + Regulations

Minnesota Law Addresses Compostable Products And Packaging Labeling

In May, an omnibus bill was passed by the state legislature and signed by the Governor that expands Minnesota’s existing Standards for Labeling Plastic Bags law to cover food and beverage products and other packaging claiming compostability. “We are happy to announce that after years of working with composters, product manufacturers, local units of government and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency that HF1314/SF1321 was passed,” said the Minnesota Composting Council (MNCC). “The amended law will reduce misleading product claims and confusion about what products are accepted for composting and reduce contamination at composting facilities resulting in them manufacturing a cleaner, more sellable product.”

Starting January 1, 2025, products sold in the state must meet the following criteria to be labeled as compostable:

  • Made solely of wood with no additives or coatings,
  • Made solely of paper with no additives or coatings, or
  • Meet ASTM D6400 (bags/films)/ ASTM D6868 (plastic or plastic-lined items) standards (specifications for composting in an industrial composting facility).

By January 1, 2026, all products must be certified by a nonprofit third party capable of performing product analysis (e.g., BPI). Products cannot be labeled ‘biodegradable’ until an industry-adopted standard ASTM specification is developed and approved by the Minnesota State Legislature. The law states that retailers must not knowingly sell misleading products; all retailers are given an additional year over manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers to come into compliance.

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