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Compostable Food Packaging

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

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Compostable food packaging could potentially reduce both food waste from landfill (a major source of greenhouse gas emissions) and 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 brief 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:

  • James Winpenny, Linda Crichton and Robert Vaughan DEFRA*
  • Sanjay Patel and David Harding Brown, The Packaging Collective*
  • Carole Taylor, The Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC)*
  • Andy Rees, Welsh Government
  • David Newman, Bio-based and biodegradable industries association (BBIA)*
  • Lucy Frankel, Vegware*
  • Professor Margaret Bates, University of Northampton*
  • Professor Helen Hailes, University College London*
  • Professor John Ward, University College London*
  • Dr Teresa Domenech, University College London* 
  • Dr Sally Beken, Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN)
  • Richard Kirkman and Nadiya Catel-Arutyunova, Veolia*
  • Dr Adam Reed, SUEZ*
  • Erik Lindroth, Tetra Pak*
  • Helen Munday and David Bellamy, Food and Drink Federation (FDF)*
  • Sian Sunderland and Frankie Gillard, A Plastic Planet*
  • Patrick Mahon, WRAP
  • Liz Goodwin, World Resources Institute (WRI)*
  • Professor Michael Norton, European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC)*
  • Professor Andrew Dove, University of Birmingham*
  • Stuart Lendrum, Iceland
  • Julieta Cuneo and Jacob Ainscough, Policy Connect*
  • Hans van Bochove and Nick Brown, Coca-Cola European Partners*
  • 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*
  • Benjamin Punchard, Mintel
  • Rob Thompson and Ian Ferguson, The Co-op
  • Martin Kersh, Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA)
  • Mark Shaw, Parkside Flexibles*
  • Kate Avgarska, Thorntons Budgens*
  • Tom Pell, The Clean Kilo*
  • Neil Whittal and Adrian Pratt, The Paper Cup Recovery and Recycling Group (PCRRG)
  • Anthony Wilson, Food Standards Agency (FSA)
  • Abigail Green, Anthony Avella and Glenn Fleetwood, UK Parliament Environment Team
  • Richard Burnett, James Cropper
  • Cecile Hourse, Terracycle*
  • Dr Alvin Orbaek White, Swansea University*
  • Adrian Haworth and Bronwen Jameson, Recycling Technologies*
  • Jacob Hayler, Environmental Services Association (ESA)*
  • Ian Jamie, Staeger Packaging*
  • Adam Robinson and Will Mercer, Coveris*
  • Andrew Sweetman, Futamura (UK)


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