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Compostable Packaging: What You Need to Know

You may have noticed that plastic packaging has been in the news recently.

Many retailers like Marks & Spencer and Iceland, have been announcing efforts to reduce their use of plastics (1, 2) in a bid to minimise their environmental impact.

These retailers are not alone. We’ve seen an increasing number of requests for more eco-friendly packaging as businesses make strides towards a circular economy. This is where you reuse resources effectively for as long as possible throughout the supply cycle.

Using recyclable polymer-based packaging is a great step that helps minimise environmental impact and contributes to a circular economy. However, many of our customers are now looking for products that are truly biodegradable can be composted at end of life.

So, what do you need to know about compostable packaging?

If you want to use compostable packaging, you need to source packaging that meets the EU standards (3, 4). The EN 13432 compostable criteria include:


To meet EN 13432 standards 90% of a packaging’s material must disintegrate to pieces smaller than 2mm within 12 weeks, when in contact with organic waste


90% of any compostable packaging material must be broken down into CO2, water and minerals, within 6 months, in a biological environment

Effect on the composting process

Compostable packaging materials should have no negative effect on the compositing process or characteristics of the compost (such as pH and salinity)

Chemical composition

Compostable packaging must have low levels of heavy metals and must not adversely affect the quality of the compost produced

How do I tell if my packaging is compostable?

There are many independent certification bodies that can offer you product assessment, if you want to confirm if your packaging meets the above standards.

Once your packaging material is certified compostable, you will be assigned a certification number and will be able to print the compostable logo on your packaging, which is a recognised standard.

Need support going green with your packaging?

If you want advice about compostable packaging or other eco-friendly options, book an appointment with our team. Simply call on 01902 496 666, email us or complete our contact form today.


(1) Source 1

(2) Source 2

(3) Source 3

(4) Source 4