Compostable Plastics Task Force

Compostable Plastics Task Force (CPTF)

Mission:

To provide an organizational structure that facilitates a dialog among plastics producers, product manufacturers, purchasers and consumers of compostable plastic products, recycling and organics recovery program managers, and composters. To influence the ongoing development of compostable plastics so that materials benefit the composting industry through increased organic waste capture, and don’t add undue burdens including non-compostability of materials and added residue disposal.

Goal:

To provide an organizational structure that facilitates a dialog among plastics producers, product manufacturers, purchasers and consumers, recycling program managers and composters.  The Task Force will encourage composters to add their voice to the conversation so that end-of-life impacts can be considered as decisions are made about compostable plastics.

Organization:

The CPTF is an ad-hoc committee of the USCC that consists of a Leadership Team and 3 Working Groups. The leadership team includes co-chairs and USCC Board members Matt Cotton and Rhodes Yepson,, and the facilitators of the 3 working groups.

The three working groups are:

  • Labeling, identification and consumer outreach/education, co-facilitated by Jack Macy from the City of San Francisco and Bridget Anderson from New York City
  • Legislation and Enforcement, facilitated by Justin Gast from Washington County, OR
  • Compostability Standards and Operation Impacts, co-facilitated by Michele Riggs from Cedar Grove Composting, Seattle WA and Hilary Near from Cascadia Consulting, San Jose, CA

Timeline and events:

November 2014

  • Model Compostable Products Labeling bill developed by the Legislation and Enforcement Working Group is approved by the USCC Board
  • Modeled after the successful labeling legislation in California, it is intended to be used to push for similar regulations in other states to prevent “greenwashing” of plastics that don’t meet ASTM or other recognized compostability standards

October 2014

February 2014

  • New Compostable Plastics Toolkit Launched!
  • This toolkit is designed to help recycling coordinators, sustainability managers, and others determine if a compostable plastics program is appropriate for their organization and to guide them in the proper management of compostable plastics.

July 2013

  • Use and Value of Compostable Plastics Survey conducted by San Jose to guide toolkit development

June 2013

  • The City of San Jose Environmental Services Department develops and makes available a protocol to assess the compostability of food service ware at commercial compost facilities. These are protocols to determine the compostabiity of a specific product in a working composting system, not in a lab. Composters, distributors and manufacturers are encouraged to use these protocols and share their results.
  • Click on the photo to read a short summary of the project


March 2013

  • City of San Jose, in Partnership with USCC and the cities of Gaithersburg, MD and Asheville, NC, receives $50,000 Grant from the  Urban Sustainability Directors Network for the development of a compostable plastics toolkit.

January 2013

April 2012:

January 2012:

  • 2nd Compostable Plastics Symposium held at USCC Conference in Austin, TX. 
    Click here
    to see and hear the presentations

January 2011:

  • CORC supported development of a White Paper to lay out the issue regarding compostable plastics.
    Click here
    to download document.
  • Compostable Plastics Symposium held at the USCC Conference in Sam Jose, CA.
    Click here
    to see and hear the presentation and notes from the follow-up meeting.

If you are interested in joining one of the working groups, click here.

Contact information:

Co Chairs:

Matthew Cotton
Integrated Waste Management Consulting, LLC
(530) 265-4560
Fax (530) 903-4649
matt@mattcotton.com
www.mattcotton.com

Rhodes Yepson
Novamont North America, Inc.
610-401-6666
rhodes.yepsen@novamont.com
www.Novamont.com/NorthAmerica

Staff:
Cary Oshins
484-547-1521
Cary.oshins@compostingcouncil.org