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Compost Council of Canada to develop in-field disintegration testing and certification program

Organic waste in a pile
The work ahead will include detailing the testing and acceptance dynamics, tracking, and communication as well as financial specifics. Adobe Stock Images

The Compost Council of Canada (CCC) and Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA) have partnered to develop and implement an in-field disintegration testing and certification program for compostable products in Canada.

"The CMA and our in-field testing program were created to support consumer and facility confidence in claims and processing acceptance leading to high-quality compost," said Janet Thoman, principal and compliance director of Compost Manufacturing Alliance. "Working with the Compost Council of Canada allows for the creation of a 'made-in-Canada' solution for compostable claim substantiation leading to greater organics diversion from landfill and higher quality compost, delivering a real-life, systems-based, sustainability solution."

The partnership brings together technical and infrastructure expertise in composting and in-field compostable testing to deliver a compostable claims program for brand owners and organics recycling facilities. This collaboration builds on the already solid relationship between the two organizations. Most recently, with GHD, they were advisors and contributors to the Path Forward Report: Compostable Products and Packaging Pilot Testing Project as issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks in 2022.

The work ahead will include detailing the testing and acceptance dynamics, tracking, and communication as well as financial specifics. The announced intent of the Government of Canada's Recycled Content and Labelling Rules for Plastics: Regulatory Framework Paper to require all items labelled "compostable" to be certified by an accredited third party is fundamental to the partnership's program including demonstrating that the items labelled compostable and associated with organic wastes like food scraps and yard trimmings have undergone in-field testing at a composting facility in Canada, disintegrating by at least 90 percent during the actual composting cycle for that facility.

"Like any manufacturing process, the work of our organics recycling facilities depends on quality inputs to create high-quality compost for our soils, supporting greater health, productivity, and sustainability," said Susan Antler, executive director of the Compost Council of Canada. "Compostable products and packaging that directly relate to our green and brown bin collection programs across Canada can help improve input quality and processing efficiencies but their claim of compostability must be rigorously substantiated with both lab and in-field testing. Our work with CMA along with the Government of Canada's pending regulations for compostability will help support this."

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