The Compostable Product Labeling Act

On May 17th, 2023 the Standards for Products Represented as Compostable, Senate Bill 23-253 was signed into law.

Effective July 1st, 2024, SB23-253 requires food service products and plastic products labeled as compostable sold or distributed in Colorado to be certified compostable and to be clearly marked as such. Producers of non-certified compostable products are prohibited from using misleading labeling that could imply the product is compostable. 

Any person may file a complaint against a producer in violation via the online Composting Labeling Complaint form.

Requirements for certified compostable products

Starting on July 1, 2024 food service products and plastic product sold or distributed in the state should only be represented as compostable if it meets the follow standards:

  • It is compostable by ASTM D6400 or ASTMD6868 standards.
  • The product must be immediately distinguishable as certified compostable upon quick inspection. The product must display:
    • A certification logo that indicates certified compostable.
    • The world "compostable" where possible.
    • Green symbols, colors, tinting, marks or design patterns.
    • It must not display a chasing arrow resin identification code or recycling symbol.

The act names small products as having a width of one-half inch or less of printable surface space. Certified compostable small products must use one of three of the requirements listed above.

Exception: These requirements do not apply to products composed entirely of untreated wood, including fiber-based substrates. 

Marketing and advertising prohibitions for products not certified as compostable

A product that is not compostable must not market or advertise the product in the state using:

  • Tinting, color schemes, labeling or words required for products represented as compostable.
  • Labeling, images or words that could mislead consumers into believing that the product is compostable.
  • A producer of a plastic product shall not market or advertise the product using:
    • These or any other similar form of these words:
      • Natural.
      • Biodegradable.
      • Degradable.
      • Decomposable.
      • Oxo-degradable.
      • Bioassimilable.
      • Omnidegradable.
    • Any labeling, images or words that imply the plastic product will break down, fragment, biodegrade or decompose in a landfill or other environment similarly to a compostable product.

Prohibitions do not apply to:

  • Biodegradable mulch film.
  • Brand colors or colors used in a manner that is not clearly intended to indicate compostability.

Please use the following form to submit complaints against producers who are in violation of SB 23-253.

Compostable labeling complaint form