Compostable packaging, which caused buzz in the snack category a few years ago before trailing off somewhat, is emerging again as a sustainable packaging alternative. You might say it’s like scraps that have been discarded, then combined and enriched to grow anew.

Indeed, like composting itself, compostable packaging is taking on a new form for a more sustainable food chain.  A recent case-in-point is the announcement from San Francisco-based Sugar Bowl Bakery that it is introducing new compostable packaging for its line of organic bakery products, made with locally sourced components when possible. "We are proud to be among the first to embrace compostable packaging in our bakery department, and we believe this aligns with an organic consumer's intent to reduce planetary impact with responsibly sourced products," says Pete Thomsen, director of sales. "Ultimately, this provides our retail partners with a strong statement to stand with us in reducing the carbon footprint in the industry.”

Boulder Canyon Authentic Foods, Phoenix is another manufacturer that has delved into compostable snacking. The provider of premium kettle chips and ancient grain snacks in the natural food channel offers the first compostable bags for all natural snacks. The package is certified as compostable in all key biodegradation situations, including industrial, home and wastewater.

Other signs point to a re-start for compostable packaging. A recent report from the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) listed sustainability as a driver in foodservice packaging. In the green-leading European market, Nova Institute of Germany predicted a triple-rate increase in the consumption of compostable and biodegradable plastic products in that region from 2015 to 2020. Compostable packaging and composting in general also was a big topic at the SustPack 2016 conference held in April in Scottsdale, AZ.; at that event, GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition shared its How2CompostLabel, an on-package label that signal to the public that the package is certified compostable.