The Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) and its partners have released the CompostAble Chicago Study report. It aims to understand the use of compostable food service packaging, under targeted operating conditions that have been identified to promote successful programs. 

The report explores how the targeted operating conditions can be correlated to increased capture of front-of-house (FOH) food scraps and reduced contamination in the compost stream.

The research took place at several Chicago-based food service venues and explored the contents of waste streams including compost, trash and recycling. 

The study found that the supply of FOH food scraps is unpredictable due to impurities and the economics of collection. If this can be addressed there is potential to recover approximately eight million tons of organic waste a year – presenting an immense opportunity for organic material for composters. 

The authors also developed methodologies for venue-to-operator evaluation and further research. The report includes a guide and template for collecting data.

See the full study for more information on the framework for evaluating the venue operating conditions.