CMA is committed to finding solutions to contamination in composting through real-world testing and strategies. As part of that strategy, CMA accepts (but does not certify) certain products that may not meet or do not have an applicable ASTM standard. This is part of our Plastic Elimination Strategy. These products include those may not be “perfect” from a compostability standard perspective but are better than the alternative –receiving plastic and plastic-lined products.
One category CMA has accepted under this program has been paper straws. Paper straw manufacturers provided a better alternative for the environment and for composters than traditional plastic straws. However, manufacturers have been challenged by the lack of widely available and feasible compostable adhesives. As the market has responded to the need for compostable adhesives, more manufacturers are able to make the switch. Compostable adhesives allow paper straws to pass ASTM D6868 and, when passing field testing, allows them to be fully certified.
Therefore, effective April 1, 2022, CMA no longer accepts new paper straws submissions under our Plastic Elimination Strategy category. New paper straw submissions will require passing ASTM lab testing, total fluoroine (per CMA protocols) and field testing.
Previously accepted paper straws will remain on our accepted products list through the end of their current acceptance period. As each is due for recertification, manufacturers will have the option of (1) recertifying for one year; (2) declining recertification; or (3) converting to compostable adhesives and supplying appropriate field and lab testing.
Please contact Compliance Director, Janet Thoman, at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about this change.