Eureka Testifies for Stronger Compostable Labeling Standards

On Tuesday, February 14th, the Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee of the Minnesota House will take up HF1315. The bill sets much-needed standards for compostable labeling. The Minnesota Composting Council is leading efforts to advance this issue and Eureka provided written testimony in support of the legislation. Eureka has a long history with composting. We piloted and launched the first commercial composting collection program for restaurants in Minneapolis, and ran a residential pilot project in Saint Paul to explore best practices for residential composting collection. Both projects relied on commercial composting sites in Minnesota and required the education of residents about the confusing array of mislabeled products claiming composability. A strong and effective composting infrastructure across the state is a key component to a zero waste future, and mislabeled products are a threat to that. Food waste is a significant and problematic portion of our waste stream. In a landfill, it generates methane – a greenhouse gas 25 times as potent as CO2 – and contributes to the release of dioxins in energy-intensive incinerators. Compostable food-service products can make food waste diversion more efficient and successful for residents. However, if those products are not actually compostable and do not completely break down they leave behind microplastics, PFAS, and other problematic toxins in the soil. To fully realize the benefits of composting, the end product needs to be clean, healthy, and usable for food production and erosion control. A composting system cannot work if it is contaminated by mislabeled and greenwashed products. HF1315 provides much-needed standards for compostable product labeling, which will:
  • Reduce operational costs for composters
  • Reduce confusion of food establishments that accidentally buy misleading products from manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers.
  • Reduce confusion for residents participating in organics recycling programs.
  • Support compostable product manufacturers in the State, and elsewhere, who already clearly label products.
Counties and cities across Minnesota are increasingly developing composting facilities and diversion programs to meet our urgent climate change goals. The success of public and private programs and composting operations is dependent on reducing contamination. By setting standards for compostable product labeling, resident and business confusion will be reduced and composting programs in Minnesota can thrive.

Share this story

More from Eureka