AfOR's position on 'compostable' packaging and plastics

The Association for Organics Recycling advocates:

  • the targeted use of 'compostable' packaging;
  • promotion of the standards for biodegradable and compostable packaging and plastics;
  • independent certification of compliance with a suitable standard;
    • BS EN 13432 as a way of ensuring the highest standards of compostable packaging in the UK, or
    • BS EN 14995 as a way of ensuring the highest standards of compostable plastics in the UK, and
  • efforts to increase public (and press) awareness of the difference between 'degradable', 'biodegradable' and 'compostable' packaging and plasticsand their associatedimplicationsfor their recycling efforts.


4.6 million tonnes of packaging is disposed of in the UK every year. Compostable packaging has the potential to reduce significantly the amount of waste sent to landfill.


There is potential for major confusion amongst recyclers and contamination of waste sources whilst the public and the biowaste managementindustry comes to terms with what is and is not compostable.


In order to avoid contamination of biowastes that are collected for composting,AfORbelieves that major awareness and education initiatives are necessary to inform the public about what packaging and plastic products can and cannot be composted.

Anaerobic Digestion

An R&D projectsupported by the National Non-Food Crops Centreis looking intothe suitability of'compostable' packaging/plastics for biological decompositionunderanaerobic digestion conditions. The report of the work is anticipated to be published inSpring 2010.

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May 25
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