- The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), in partnership with the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), has debuted a new How2Compost label to give consumers more information about disposal options for products, as reported by Packaging World.
- Products with the label will be BPI-certified as compostable in industrial facilities or note whether products may be compostable in backyard piles. The label will also certify that products are in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's guidelines on environmental marketing.
- Reynolds Consumer Products and Eco-Products are the program's first members. Reynolds plans to use the label on certain types of Hefty brand tableware and Eco-Products will use it on some secondary packaging.
The market for bio-based packaging and tableware continues to grow, with multiple new research concepts in the works. While many of these products make claims about being compostable that is not always the case. This has been a particular issue for haulers and processors handling material from food service establishments which use these products in the name of sustainability.
Because SPC's How2Recycle label has been adopted by manufacturers and retailers the concept may already be familiar to household consumers. As companies and government agencies work to raise awareness about food waste, this may also be a way to engage consumers in a larger conversation about packaging waste.
In major cities that provide access to curbside or drop-off programs for organic material, it's possible that the labels could even encourage residents to change their purchasing habits. Though curbside collection options are still less prevalent for organic material than other recyclables in many parts of the U.S. How2Compost's website says the program will be "working with industry stakeholders to expand and improve composting infrastructure" and links to BioCycle's "FindAComposter" portal.