New labeling standards will make it easier to determine what packaging is compostable

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Photo courtesy Dept of Ecology

In March 2024, the Washington State Legislature passed Organics Management Law 2.0 (OML 2.0), including changes to the compostable product labeling standards (“Plastic Product Degradability,” chapter 70A.455 RCW). 

Below is a summary of key updates that go into effect June 6, 2024.

This bill changes the original Organics Management Law (OML 1.0) passed in 2022, and both will help reach our statewide climate and waste reduction goals. OML 1.0 included labeling standards for compostable products in an effort to support facilities that accept these materials and ease consumer confusion. Consumer confusion adds to contamination, which makes composting more difficult and expensive.
Expanding definition and standards for product compostability 
  • Exempt: Products made from wood are considered compostable and do not need to be labeled in accordance with the labeling rules. Products made from more than 98% fiber with no plastic or wax additives or coatings are also considered compostable and do not require specific labeling.
  • These products do not need to be listed on a producer’s declaration of compliance.
  • Film bags, other film products, and food service products: These still must be tested and certified to ASTM standards D6400 or D6868 by a third-party.
  • Other products (compostable packing peanuts, cellulose tape, PLA insulated mailers, etc.): These can be certified to a similar scientific standard for composting in industrial settings (ex. ASTM D8410, ISO 17088, and EN 13432).
What about home compostable? 
  • All compostable products in Washington must be certified by a third-party that the product meets the scientific standards for composting in industrial settings. Starting in June 2024, a product may include the claim “home compostable” if the producer has scientific evidence to support their claim, and the product has still been certified for composting in an industrial setting. A product cannot be labeled as “Home Compostable only.”
Dept of Ecology


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