Understanding the Role of Compostable Packaging

The success of compostable packaging requires a renewed focus on recirculating biological nutrients like food scraps, fibers, and plant material. Today, many of these nutrients are landfilled or mixed in with technical nutrients, and are not returned back into the biosphere. Though composting infrastructure is not yet widespread across the U.S., interest in this recovery pathway is growing rapidly.

Our new guide aims to provide a framework for understanding the best role for compostable packaging in a sustainable packaging strategy. It offers considerations for appropriate use cases, insights into composting infrastructure and residential access to composting programs, and perspectives on composter and consumer engagement. It clarifies the recovery ecosystem surrounding compostable packaging today, for the benefit of brands, retailers, municipalities, consumers, and other stakeholders. Finally, it explores a future in which compostable packaging is fit for our biosphere, with an emphasis on what’s needed in design, collection, composting technologies, and consumer education.
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    Olga Kachook
    Senior Manager SPC, GreenBlue
    Olga Kachook is a Project Manager at GreenBlue, where she leads the Essentials of Sustainable Packaging courses and the Composting Collaborative. Her background includesexpertise in compostable materials and packaging, zero waste facility certification, life cycle analysis, and sustainable materials management.Prior to joining GreenBlue, she led corporate sustainability and waste initiatives at World Centric, Etsy, Cascade Designs, and Cascadia Consulting. Olga has a Master of Environmental Management from Yale Universitys School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Washington. She is certified as a LEED Green Associate and a TRUE Zero Waste Advisor.
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    Wendell Simonson
    Marketing Director, Biodegradable Products Institute
    Wendell Simonson is the Marketing Director for the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), and is responsible for all aspects of the Marketing function including content development, communications strategy, brand management, and member engagement. Prior to joining BPI, Wendell ran Ellipsis Strategy, a Marketing Consulting business where BPI was an early client. Before starting Ellipsis, Wendell spent 10 years building the Marketing function at Eco-Products in Boulder, CO.
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    Nora Goldstein
    Editor and Publisher, BioCycle
    Nora Goldstein is Editor/Publisher of BioCycle CONNECT ® and BioCycle.net, the Organics Recycling Authority. She is also Director of BioCycle Associates. Nora has authored numerous articles on all facets of zero waste, food recovery and recycling, composting and anaerobic digestion, as well as organized many conferences on these topics. She received the US Composting Council’s Hi Kellogg Award for Outstanding Service to the Composting Industry, and the American Biogas Council’s Biogas Visionary Award.