From coffee capsules to nacho trays, Ingeo-based packaging and serviceware contaminated with food waste can be diverted from landfills into industrial composting or organics recycling. For the right products in the right localities, it's an innovative way to take a step in the right direction.


Some end products made with 100% Ingeo, depending on the application, will compost in municipal/industrial facilities according to ISO, ASTM, and EN regulations, and Ingeo resin is certified appropriately. All final products made from Ingeo must undergo their own compostability testing. The number of industrial composting facilities is currently limited and may not be available near you. However, the development of such facilities is growing internationally.

Looking for a composter in the US? Please visit

How Composting Ingeo Works

Ingeo biopolymer is made primarily of polylactic acid (PLA), a repeating chain of lactic acid, which undergoes a 2-step degradation process. 

1. DISINTEGRATION: The moisture and heat in the compost pile split the polymer chains apart, creating smaller polymers, and finally, lactic acid. 

2. BIODEGRADATION: Microorganisms in compost and soil consume the smaller polymer fragments and lactic acid as nutrients. Since lactic acid is widely found in nature, a large number of organisms metabolize lactic acid. 

The end result of composting is carbon dioxide, water and humus, a soil nutrient. This degradation process is temperature and humidity dependent.

Steps to Compost graphic updated small


Compost Criteria

Regulatory guidelines and standards for composting revolve around four basic criteria: Material Characteristics, Biodegradation, Disintegration, and Ecotoxicity (Compost Quality). Description of the requirements of these testing can be found in the appropriate geographical area: DIN V 54900-1 (Germany), EN-13432 (EU), ASTM 6400-04 (USA), GreenPla (Japan).

DinCertco Compostable Mark


All required testing data for Ingeo biopolymer was presented to DIN CERTCO for certification of suitability as a compostable material for packaging purposes in Europe. Ingeo passed all required testing according to EN-13432 and received registration from DIN CERTCO. For more information on compostability and specific Ingeo grades, see our Regulatory Affairs information.

Green PLA Mark


All required testing data for Ingeo biopolymer was presented to the Japan BioPlastics Association (JBPA) for certification according to the GreenPla certification requirements. We received listing on JBPA's positive list for compostable materials. This list can be viewed at on JBPA's site in positive list, class A-resins (A40101-A40104).

BPI Cert

United States of America

All required testing data for Ingeo biopolymer was presented to the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) for certification according to ASTM 6400 Standard Specification for Labeling of Plastics Designed to be Aerobically Composted in Municipal or Industrial Facilities. Ingeo passed all required testing according to ASTM D6400 and received certification from BPI. For more information on compostability and specific Ingeo grades, see our Regulatory Affairs information.

Composting Affiliations

Corporate Compost Leadership Council

NatureWorks is a proud member of the United States Composting Council's Corporate Compost Leadership Council (CCLC). Composting and compost use can make a significant impact in growing our circular economy while also mitigating both climate change and improving our soils. As a part of the CCLC, we're helping advance compost infrastructure across the US and ensuring compostable packing labeling is accurate and useful. 

Minnesota Composting Council

NatureWorks is a member of the Minnesota Composting Council - the MN State Chapter of the United States Composting Council. As a state affiliate of the USCC, the MNCC is dedicated to the development, expansion, and promotion of the composting industry based upon sound science, principles of sustainability, and economic viability. Through our membership, we encourage and drive research, help establish standards, promote best management practices, and educate the public and professionals on the creation and use of quality compost. 

Industrial Composting for Coffee Capsules

NatureWorks, Flo, and the Italian Composting and Biogas Association (CIC) teamed up to conduct a composting field trial with Ingeoâ„¢-based GEA coffee capsules in an industrial composting facility over an 83-day time period.

Read the Study (English & Italian)

Dutch Study Shows PLA Bioplastics Disintegrate Faster Than Orange Peels, Paper

A new study from Wageningen Food & Biobased Research show how compostable products made with PLA disintegrated faster than orange peels or paper, and could not be recovered even after one composting cycle of 11 days.

Read the Study