Join the Compostable Field Testing Program

Whenever food waste becomes your feedstock, the question of accepting compostable foodware and packaging is bound to come up. While lab certification is a good place to start, performing in-field disintegration testing is the next level to determine how well products do and don’t break down in your specific facility.

The Compostable Field Testing Program, or CFTP, is an international non-profit research platform to bring field testing to composters across North America and beyond. Operating since 2016, the CFTP provides a standard test kit and a customizable protocol for the common 'mesh bag method'. When participating facilities share back their results, this data is collected by the CFTP, aggregated and anonymized for eventual public release in an online database. This will provide comprehensive baseline data correlating composting conditions with the disintegration of common compostable products and packaging, allowing CREF, the public, composting industry, compostable products industry and academics to develop tools for composters wanting to understand best practices for processing these feedstocks.

Program goals and benefits
  • Helps composters identify which compostable product types which break down in their systems, and which do not
  • Creates an open source database of disintegration results for the industry across North America
  • Continues development of a standardized test protocol developed through real-world testing
  • Provides a platform for spin-off research, such as new field testing methods and additional microbiological analysis
What you get from the program
  • Free field testing kit with a range of common compostable foodware tested by all participating facilities, and you can add any other products you want to see break down
  • Detailed mesh bag test method customized to your individual operations
  • Developing the skills to further test products of interest in your facility
  • Telephone and video-conferencing support for each step of the process
  • When possible, the CFTP will provide a stipend to support covering testing costs
What facilities need to participate
  • Willingness to undergo the testing process  
  • The ability and commitment to record and share data

Do you wonder how well certified compostable products break down in your facility?

Find out now! Fill in the form below, and we’ll be in touch.

Not a composter? Not a problem. Academics, consultants and community members can act as liaisons with their local facilities to make a field test happen. If this sounds like you, please get in touch, this is an international, open source project and we're happy to help.

Want an indepth look at field testing with the CFTP?  Check out this Webinar from December of 2019

© 2020 Compost Research & Education Foundation. All rights reserved.

Compost Research and Education Foundation (CREF)
Physical Address:
1053 E Whitaker Mill Rd
Suite 115
Raleigh, NC 27604

Mailing Address:
PO Box 19246
Raleigh, NC 27619
tel: (833) 812-2733