The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Aviation Hazardous Minimization and Green Products Branch and the National Defense Center for Energy and Environment (NDCEE) demonstrated biobased compostable food service ware at Department of Defense Installations.
Biobased food service ware items have been designated for Federal procurement preference by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) BioPreferred Program. The BioPreferred Program defines biobased food service ware in the following three product categories:
Disposable Containers: Products designed to be used for temporary storage or transportation of materials including, but not limited to, food items. Products must contain a minimum biobased content of 72%.
Disposable Tableware: Products made from, or coated with, plastic resins and used in dining, such as drink ware and dishware, including but not limited to cups, plates, bowls, and serving platters, and that are designed for one-time use. Products must contain a minimum biobased content of 72%.
Disposable Cutlery: Hand-held, disposable utensils designed for one-time use in eating food. Products must contain a minimum biobased content of 48%.
Before these green and biobased products are utilized by the Military Departments and Department of Defense (DoD) Components, their performance must be proven to meet DoD requirements. The objective of this demonstration was to evaluate the effectiveness of biobased compostable food service ware as replacements for non-green products currently being used at DoD installations. The demonstration of biobased compostable food service ware products allows DoD end-users to determine, through firsthand experience, if the products meet their requirements for use.
Conventional single use food service items are typically constructed of petroleum-based plastics and polystyrene foam. Although these materials may be recyclable, recycling is frequently prohibited due to food waste contamination. Post-consumer food waste containing plastic food service ware items is a major solid waste stream at DoD installations. The use of biobased compostable food service ware items provide the opportunity to compost post-consumer food waste, thereby diverting a major waste stream from disposal in landfills.
Candidate food service ware items shall also be compostable as determined per one of the following methods:
ASTM D6400, Standard Specification for Labeling of Plastics Designed to be Aerobically Composted in Municipal or Industrial Facilities
ASTM D6868, Standard Specification for Labeling of End Items that Incorporate Plastics and Polymers as Coatings or Additives with Paper and Other Substrates Designed to be Aerobically Composted in Municipal or Industrial Facilities
Current food service item applications and requirements were identified for the food service demonstration locations. Biobased compostable food service ware items were identified and evaluated as demonstration candidates.
The following biobased compostable food service ware products were demonstrated.
The biobased compostable food service ware products were demonstrated at the following food service facilities:
Joint Base Lewis McChord
Biobased compostable food service ware products were selected from list of products above based on each dining facility’s requirements. The dining facilities were provided a supply of demonstration products for use in place of their current products for the demonstration period. Feedback from dining facility personnel and customers on the product performance was collected utilizing both hard copy feedback forms and an online electronic survey. Based on the demonstration feedback received, the biobased compostable food service ware products were positively received by both dining facility personnel and customers. Customers were pleased that DoD is moving in the direction of evaluating and implementing biobased compostable food service ware.
Demonstration Contact Information
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