Responsible Purchasing Network Develops Green Purchasing Guide for States’ Purchase of Compostable Food Service Ware

The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO), whose members consist of the central purchase agency of every state in the US, has partnered with the Responsible Purchasing Network (RPN) to develop a set of 10 green purchasing guides to help the State of Washington and other states to more easily develop contracts for environmentally preferable products. One of these guides, Green Purchasing Opportunities for Compostable Food Service Ware, lays out the steps purchasing agents can take to develop a bid solicitation, evaluate bids, and award and publicize contracts for products meetings specific environmental criteria.

This guide outlines how states can use SBC’s BioSpecs for Purchasers to identify and purchase compostable food service ware, including, notably, products that meet or exceed minimum biobased content levels and are certified as “commercially compostable” by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) or an equivalent third party organization. It also presents language purchasing agents can use to specify paper-based food service ware items that are devoid of highly persistent and potentially cancer-causing fluorinated grease barriers and that made with recycled paper, sustainably sourced wood fiber, and chlorine-free bleaching compounds. The guide, available here, provides a valuable tool food service ware buyers across the US can use to send a strong signal to industry about their desire for food service ware items that offer verifiable environmental benefits. For more information about how to use this guide, contact Sarah Church, RPN Research Analyst at