Oregon DEQ Study Challenges Assumptions About Recycled, Organics Content

Increasingly, consumers and policymakers are pushing for manufacturers to make products believed to be more eco-friendly and, with that, a cascade of recyclable, compostable and biobased ware has come online. A new study from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) challenges whether such features alone tell the story of a product’s environmental impact. The study, which analyzed years of published research on packaging and food service ware, made some controversial assertions; Compostable packaging has limited to no environmental benefits, the authors said. Bio-based products can sometimes be detrimental. And while the fact that a product is recycled is commonly a positive, it depends on the scenario. By using a life cycle assessment, researchers looked at the popular attributes such as “recycled content,” “compostable” and “bio-based.”

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