Design for Compostability: Success Stories within the Value Chain
Product designers seeking to close the loop on waste often look in the direction of compostability. But some innovations inadvertentlyÂ create products and packaging which won’tÂ degrade in existing large scale compost facilities. This can be due to design, composting technology, or processing conditions. So, whatÂ does effective design for compostability and facility acceptance look like? A webinar hosted by the National Zero Waste Council and moderated byÂ Alan Blake, Co-Lead, National Zero Waste Council Product Design &Â Packaging Working Group, featured an expert panel offeringÂ valuable insights from their experiencesÂ inÂ their daily operations.
- Tim Goodman, Cradle-to-Cradle Manager, NatureworksÂ discusses biopolymers, clarifies the important difference between compostable and degradable plastics, and provides example of some organic waste diversion programs in Minnesota.
- Michele Riggs, Biodegradable Technical Specialist, Cedar Grove CompostingÂ offers background on Cedar Grove Compostable Products (the largest municipal composter in the Western U.S.), their ‘would it compost’ criteria, the ten foot rule for identifying compostable products, and current and emerging markets for compost products.
- Sarah Martinez, Sustainability Maven, Eco-Products, Inc.Â explains why sustainable disposables isn’t necessarily an oxymoron, how compostable foodservice packaging simplifies waste disposal, the importance of third party testing, and addresses the challenges of designing for compostability.
- Patrick Mulholland R.P.Bio., Compost Operations Manager, Carney’s Waste SystemsÂ provides an overview of the Whistler, B.C. compost facility and describes what an ideal scenario for compostability might look like, what works in terms of facility design, and why a consistent look to compostable products could be a key factor in continuing the trend towards compostable products.
Â Subscribe to the ZWC blog to stay up-to-date as we present highlights fromÂ the 2015 conference, previewÂ the speakers and topics that will be a part of the next Zero Waste Conference, and continue to deliver insights into the world of zero waste and the circular economy. To watchÂ moreÂ videosÂ â€“Â from previous Zero Waste Conferences andÂ other Metro Vancouver seminarsÂ such as the Sustainability BreakfastsÂ check out the Metro VancouverÂ Video Gallery with a searchable index of hundreds of videos on a wide range of topics.