Closed Loop Partners collaborate with leading brands to recover compostable packaging and food scraps
The Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners has launched the Composting Consortium, together with founding partners PepsiCo and the NextGen Consortium. The Consortium brings together leading voices in the composting ecosystem in the United States to identify the best path forward to increase the recovery of compostable food packaging and drive toward circular outcomes.
These key stakeholders are uniting at a critical time as the landscape around compostable packaging and composting infrastructure rapidly evolves. Currently, the demand for alternatives to traditional fossil fuel-based single-use plastic packaging is rising, and the market for compostable packaging is poised to grow 17 percent annually between 2020 and 20271.
Compostable packaging presents potential environmental, economic and social benefits, diverting food packaging and food scraps within the packaging toward composting infrastructure, and mitigating the greenhouse gases emitted when these otherwise end up in landfill. To meet the growth in compostable packaging, there needs to be more widely available composting infrastructure to fully recover the value of these materials.
The Composting Consortium recognizes the current challenges in this growing packaging sector and calls for unity and clarity across stakeholders. New compostable materials need to be researched with diligence and deployed strategically as one line of defense against waste. There is no quick fix to a complex global waste challenge, and the Consortium looks to chart a clear pathway forward for the industry.
The Consortium will work across multiple workstreams to identify best practices for consumer understanding of compostable packaging labeling and collection; establish when compostable versus reusable or recyclable packaging applications are most appropriate; collaborate on best practices to inform policy making; and build an investment roadmap for expanding composting infrastructure to recover compostable packaging and food scraps. It brings together leading voices in the composting ecosystem in the United States to increase the recovery of valuable resources otherwise lost to landfill.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.