We’ve always used ASTM D6400 standards to test composability of raw materials, and the plant-based material we use to produce our good natured® food packaging was tested to break down in an industrial composting facility within 180 days.
We’re super committed to avoiding the “greenwashing” phenomenon that goes on in our industry. While passing ASTM testing might be enough for some others to shout about compostability, we always knew we’d take extra steps before making any big claims.
You really have to test each individual package to ensure it biodegrades in a commercial composting facility within a set timeframe. The reason is that many things impact rates of biodegradation – from the thickness of material, to dimensions of the package to the complexity of design. That’s why we ensure that both the material and the individual package have passed the test.
Not everyone does this, and it’s part of the reason you might hear bad stuff about compostable bioplastics. If a package is marked “compostable” but has not been tested individually to break down in the set amount of time, it can clog up the compost facility. For this reason, some facilities restrict all plastic materials they’ll accept since they can’t be sure it’s truly compostable in its final form, which hurts all of us who care about building renewable, closed loop systems.
Certifying our plant-based food packaging is something we’ve always had in our sights. However, there are lots of certifying organizations, and they all have a different approach. For us, the focus was to ensure our packaging had the highest chance of being accepted in compost facilities where it could be turned once again into soil to grow more plants.
We’ve completed the steps to certify our plant-based food packaging with the Compost Manufacturing Alliance, meaning that we’ve fully tested the majority of our plant-based food packaging to biodegrade into usable compost within 180 days in a commercial compost facility.
Look for the logo in our shop. We’ve added the logo to all eligible food packaging items so you’ll see straight away which ones are CMA certified and will be accepted at a growing number of commercial compost facilities.
The Compost Manufacturing Alliance (CMA) is a nationwide partnership of composters that conduct actual field testing through several different methods to ensure products are truly compostable. The CMA does not limit its testing to laboratory tests, which a number of other certifying bodies do.
For more information about composting, biodegrading and all that stuff, check out the compostable packaging page on our site.