The latest news from the world of Bioplastics

California approved law requiring packaging to be recyclable and compostable by 2032

4 October 2022

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TotalEnergies Corbion

In California, United States, Governor Gavin Newsome, signed the bill “Solid waste: reporting, packaging, and plastic food service ware”, recognizing the contribution of compostable bioplastics towards the overall goal of having all plastic recyclable or compostable by 2032. In addition, the bill sets up an extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme to fund reuse, recycling and, most important for bioplastics, compost. The EPR scheme will lead in an active collaboration among stakeholders representing the bioplastics and the composters, in fact through a fee set by the EPR scheme, compostable packaging sold in California will contribute to the development of the composting infrastructure. As highlighted also by the US association representing bioplastics, the Biodegradable Product Institute (BPI), the bill provides the following elements: 

  • Both composters and compostable product manufacturers have seats on the EPR program’s advisory board that is tasked with reviewing the program’s planning and development. 
  • Funds earmarked to support collection and management infrastructure for ‘covered products,’ including compostable packaging, along with decontamination efforts.  
  • Fees collected from producers to create those funds will be modulated to reward products that exhibit benefits including being certified compostable, incurring lower management and transportation costs, and being free of toxic additives like PFAS. 
  • Companies choosing to switch from single-use plastic to certified compostable fiber packaging will receive credit towards source reduction targets. 

California is the second state with a specific EPR scheme on compostable plastic packaging; following the Italian scheme, Biorepack, which was set in 2020. The new trend of having a “more formal” collaboration between compostable plastics producers and the composting industry represents an unique opportunity of building a strong value chain and, all in all, will recognize the role of PLA and its compostable applications towards a circular economy.

packaging to be recyclable and compostable by 2032

 

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