According to a Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) report, 90% of surveyed industrial composting facilities actively accept compostable packaging. In contrast, only 67.5% of those surveyed require compostable packaging to have some type of standard or certification before allowing it in their facility.

The survey, titled "Compostable Packaging: The Reality on the Ground," was motivated by the packaging industry’s confusion as to how composting facilities treat foodservice packaging as some facilities reject packaging, citing it as a contaminant to their composting process and finished product. Due to the growing number of individual facility, regional and state compostability standards, packaging designers and engineers have been unsure of how to tackle the relatively new concept of compostable packaging.

One measure for combating this confusion may be something as simple as implementing a universal "compostability label," a strategy that seems to work with a majority of the 40 facilities surveyed as part of SPC's report. In fact, 82.5% of those facilities want a more universally recognizable label of compostability, says the SPC survey.

“There is a disconnect between compostable packaging design and the composting facilities who deal with those materials,” said SPC project manager Liz Shoch. “We hope this report sheds light on how compostable packaging is actually treated and provides recommendations for how we can improve the fate of compostable packaging in this country, as composting is an effective end-of-life option for food- and beverage-soiled paper packaging, as well as compostable plastics.”