This work unpacks the opportunities and challenges within the industry’s move toward these alternative materials, considering sustainable sourcing of feedstocks and end-of-life recovery pathways.
With 11 million metric tons of plastic waste entering our oceans every year, the proliferation of single-use plastics across the globe has reached a tipping point. Market pressures and regulations are spurring a rapid and, at times, haphazard shift away from petroleum-based, single-use plastics bound for landfill.
Many companies are exploring bio-based plastics, biopolymers and compostable alternatives to align their products and packaging with waste reduction and climate impact goals, after pursuing strategies to reduce, reuse and recycle plastics. Yet with new materials already outpacing the capacity of our existing recovery infrastructure, there is a critical need to address the misalignment between production and end-of-life to ensure that compostable packaging does not end up in landfill.
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