Evolving Perspectives on Compostable Food Serviceware
It is a widely held belief that compostable products and packaging are only beneficial to composters as tools for diverting food waste, but that they don’t have any value alone. While it’s true that compostable products assist with diverting more food waste, thecompostable products industry questioned whether there might be some inherent value to the products themselves. The Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) and Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) commissioned an in-depth study of compostable packaging as a feedstock itself, compared to traditional inputs like yard trimmings. A field study at two commercial facilities was conducted where piles were super-loaded with compostable products at 15% and 30% of incoming materials, and evaluated for impact on the composting process (e.g., C:N ratio, bulk density, etc.) and quality of the finished compost (e.g., nutrient value, heavy metals, etc.). This presentation outlines the results of that study, and the implications for composting facility operators wondering about the impact of accepting routes with large volumes of compostable products.