BPI’s Advocacy work is designed to increase the likelihood that compostable products will get collected and successfully processed by composters, so that items are compostable in practice, not just in theory. This means a lot of work needs to be done on the systems for collecting and processing food scraps and compostable products -- supporting existing infrastructure, and helping expand new infrastructure.
BPI is a founding partner of the Find A Composter project, which maps existing composting infrastructure and allows users to search by location materials accepted.
The BioCycle / BPI Virtual Workshop held in early 2021 brought together composters, municipalities, manufacturers, operators and others to identify common barriers and solutions to successfully composting certified items in existing infrastructure. Programs are underway to address each of the top 6 barriers (check back often for updates):
Supporting New Composting Infrastructure
While there are almost 5,000 composting facilities in the US today, the majority accept only yard trimmings. Considering that food is consistently the top material ending up in landfills, and that most communities (today) don't offer a way for households to compost their food, we need a significant number of new composting facilities, along with community composting programs and education around home composting.
BPI is a founding member of the US Composting Infrastructure Coalition (USCIC), a group of associations leading the effort to establish widespread composting infrastructure. An early accomplishment of the group is the launching of the COMPOST Act, which would provide $2 billion in grants and loans for food scrap composting, and would make composting a conservation practice. Take Action Now!
BPI is also an activator of the US Plastics Pact, where we ensure that composting is represented as a viable option alongside reduction, reuse, and recycling. BPI and the US Composting Council are co-leading the Pact's composting workstream.
Beyond these partnerships, BPI's strategy is supportive of a variety of funding mechanisms to help cover the costs of collecting and processing compostable products such as supporting Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), federal grants and loans and voluntary funding. BPI supports specific methods for funding options that are summarized below and reflected in BPI’s guiding principles document on EPR.
State / Federal Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)
Fees on compostable products and packaging fund collection and processing of these items, but do not cover the entire cost of food scraps composting. BPI actively comments on EPR bills in collaboration with Members and other associations.
State / Federal Grants and Loans
Grants and loans support infrastructure for diverting food scraps more broadly, with incentives for robust processing capable of handling compostable packaging.
Voluntary Industry Funding
Supplemental grants and loans that cover infrastructure and equipment for food scraps and / or handling compostable products.
Photo by Doug Pinkerton, courtesy BioCycle.net