POST - Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

Compostable Food Packaging

Published Tuesday, July 2, 2019

 This brief describes policy options to enable greater use of compostable packaging

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Compostable food packaging could potentially reduce waste from plastic food packaging. Current obstacles to the more widespread use of compostable packaging include the lack of a systematic collection system and composting infrastructure, enforcement of standards, and complications with recycling. This note describes policy options to enable greater use of compostable packaging and is designed to be read in conjunction with POSTnote 605, Plastic Food Packaging Waste. 

POSTnotes are based on literature reviews and interviews with a range of stakeholders and
are externally peer reviewed. POST would like to thank interviewees and peer reviewers for kindly giving up their time during the preparation of this briefing including:

  • Lucy Frankel, Vegware*
  • James Winpenny, Linda Crichton and Robert Vaughan, DEFRA*
  • Carole Taylor, The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC)
  • Andy Rees, Welsh Government
  • Professor Margaret Bates, University of Northampton*
  • Dr Adam Reed, SUEZ*
  • Sian Sunderland and Frankie Gillard, A Plastic Planet*
  • Professor Michael Norton, European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC)*
  • Tom Pell, The Clean Kilo*
  • Dr Deborah Beck, Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures*
  • Dr Thomas Webb, University of Sheffield*
  • Dr Rukayya Muazu, University of Sheffield*
  • Dr Sarah Greenwood, University of Sheffield*
  • Mark Shaw, Parkside Flexibles*
  • Dr Adrian Higson, NNFCC*
  • Ian Jamie, Staeger Packaging*
  • Andrew Sweetman, Futamura (UK)
  • Abigail Green, Anthony Avella and Glenn Fleetwood, UK Parliament Environment Team
  • Andrew Sweetman, Futamura (UK)
  • Chris Cooper, Future Biogas Ltd
  • Annie Middleton, Cardiff Harbour Authority*
  • Jackie Beresford, Dundee and Angus College*
  • David Newman, Bio-based and biodegradable industries association (BBIA)*
  • Dr David Greenfield, Soenecs
  • Dr Michelle Lynch, Enabled Future Limited*



POSTnotes POST-PN-0606

Authors: Peter Border; Caroline Wood

Topics: Agriculture, Climate change, Companies, Consumers, Food, International trade, Pollution, Waste management, Water

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The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology.