The Sustainable Biomaterials Collaborative (SBC) has developed the BioSpecs for Food Service Ware: Environmentally Preferably Specifications for Compostable Biobased Food Service WareThe BioSpecs provide a framework for assessing the sustainability of these products during their three life cycle stages: biomass production, manufacturing, and end of product life. “Sustainability” incorporates environmental protection, health, and social and economic justice. It is hoped that the BioSpecs will increase the market for biobased food service ware that meet high sustainability standards and prevent the “greenwashing” of biobased products that fail to meet environmental, consumer, and worker protection standards. The SBC plans to develop additional BioSpecs for other biobased product categories.

The BioSpecs for Food Service Ware

Biobased food service ware are becoming increasingly available and offer an alternative to fossil-fuel-derived plastics, which are non-renewable, may threaten public health and marine life, and increase reliance on imported feedstocks. The development of bioplastics has the potential to mitigate these problems by promoting renewability, biodegradability, and a path away from harmful additives. The BioSpecs for Food Service Ware specifies criteria and recognition levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold for products that meet different tiers of product sustainability.

For manufacturers and product vendors

The SBC has developed a companion guide detailing the documentation needed for manufacturers to demonstrate conformance with the BioSpecs criteria. If you are interested in the Conformance Guide: BioSpecs for Compostable Biobased Food Service Ware or in beta-testing the conformance process, please contact Heeral Bhalala, the SBC Coordinator, at

Download the BioSpecs for Food Service Ware