Local ordinances intended to rid the environment of single-use disposable food service ware plastics must consider the feasibility and impacts of alternative disposable food service ware items, especially in accordance with the local processing infrastructure. Compostable and biodegradable products usually require processing at an Industrial Composting Facility.

Recommended alternative items should be certified, ‘compostable’ or ‘biodegradable’, by credible standards organizations and compatible with local waste processing infrastructure. Ordinances should include the standards for food service ware products.

Two key organizations have developed a set of technical specifications for compostable and biodegradable food service ware products – American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI). Both of these organizations provide standards that can be used anywhere in the world.

ASTM creates technical standards for compostability and biodegradability and BPI certifies compliance of food service ware products to established ASTM standards. The two most referenced standards for food service ware concern Compostability ASTM D6400 and Biodegradability ASTM D6868.