Compostable Plastics Workshop: Facts, Myths, and Unknowns

Compostable Plastics Workshop 2019

The future of plastics is changing; there is a desire to keep the advantages that plastics present, without contributing to the world’s plastic waste problem. The shift is to plastics that are sourced from plants and not petroleum, and that can be broken down safely at their end-of-life. This panel and workshop session, supported by Metro Vancouver, is for all who wish to have a better understanding about compostable packaging.

Interested stakeholders include, but are not limited to:

  • Compost, solid waste and recycling stakeholders
  • Local, regional and provincial government representatives
  • Compost processors and haulers
  • Bioplastic producers, brand owners, manufacturers, distributors and/or retailers
  • Users – food services industry, film industry, farmers, schools/colleges, hospitals, food courts etc. 

Speakers (Subject to Change):


Dr. Love-Ese Chile, Grey to Green Sustainable Solutions

Dr. Love-Ese Chile is a researcher and consultant at her company Grey to Green Sustainable Solutions. Love-Ese has more than seven years of experience researching both the creation and degradation of bio-derived and biodegradable plastics. Through her company, Grey to Green Sustainable Solutions, Love-Ese works with industry, government and community leaders to better understand the role of "bioplastics" within the circular bioeconomy and helps to guide the development of new technologies to support the implementation of these sustainable alternatives. Love-Ese enjoys engaging with her community and fosters a relationship between science and the public by presenting lectures and workshops on a variety of topics, from plastic to green technology.

Presentation: Compostable Plastics: Challenges and Opportunities


Dr. Dieter Geesing, BC Ministry of Agriculture

Dieter is the Provincial Soil Specialist for the Ministry of Agriculture and soil science instructor at the University of the Fraser Valley. Prior to his current position with the Ministry, he worked for more than 10 years in the compost and biogas industry where he tested the performance of numerous “compostable” plastic materials in a real-world commercial composting facility. Dieter holds a MSc in Forestry, and a MSc and PhD in Plant and Soil Science.

Presentation: Behaviour of Compostable Plastics in the Soil Environment

Tamara Burns, Recycle BC

Tamara has provided leadership to the Recycle BC program beginning with the program’s design phase. Tamara lead the development of the Recycle BC supply chain design to ensure its alignment to the program’s Plan and regulatory requirements. Since the successful launch of the Recycle BC program in 2014, Tamara has remained responsible for supply chain operations including the management of all Plan commitments advancing the program’s materials up the Pollution Prevention Hierarchy. 
In addition to leading Recycle BC, Tamara is responsible for supply chain operations for Multi-Material Stewardship Western (MMSW). She was a member of the MMSW development team prior to its launch in 2016 and continues to oversee the program. 
Tamara previously held senior operations and merchandising posts at Stewardship Ontario, Sears Canada and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). Tamara holds an MBA from the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business and earned an Honours BA from Victoria College, University of Toronto.

Presentation: Redesigning Residential Recycling with Recycle BC

Emily McGill, Consultant

Emily is an experienced Project Consultant with a demonstrated history working in the environmental services field; skilled in developing research, training and team-based education programs. Emily's areas of expertise are in waste prevention and resource recovery, especially at the intersection of food and waste. She's focused on organics recycling (composting and anaerobic digestion), certified compostable foodware, and sustainability in the construction, demolition, and deconstruction industry. Emily's work has included consulting for the National Zero Waste Council's Product Design & Packaging Working Group, Tetra Tech Canada's Solid Waste Management Planning team, BSIbio Packaging Solutions, managing an international, open-source field testing program for compostable foodware, and she is a co-founder and co-facilitator of Master Recycler Vancouver and the Living Systems Network. Emily brings a passion for research, analysis, design and implementation for systems change with a Bachelor in Bioresource Engineering from McGill University.

Presentation: Cultivating Compost in Canada


Dr. Sadaf Shafiei Sabet, Good Natured Products

Sadaf is a senior product development manager with 7+ years of experience in sustainable product development, process innovation, product assortment strategy planning and supplier relation management. Sadaf has a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering and has innovated several value-added bio-based materials. Her mission is to embed sustainable thinking in how products are designed, made, marketed and used. Sadaf's everyday professional life is driven by her passion for community, environment and impact.

Presentation: Compostable Packaging by good natured Products

Susanna Carson, National Zero Waste Council 

Susanna is the founder and CEO of BSIbio Packaging Solutions and the company’s house brand BÉSICS®. Susanna holds a BSc. in Biology, an MSc. in Zoology (Biodiversity) and more than 22 years of education and work experience in environmental issues and business development. One of her more personally satisfying roles is educating female entrepreneurs on sustainability in business through the Go for the Greens executive conference in Orlando, where she previously served as Sustainability Chair (2013-2018). Other aspects of her experience and industry contributions include; Founding Member, Women for Nature, supporting environmental conservation and education programs; Co-Chair of the Product and Packaging Working Group of the National Zero Waste Council (2014 to 2019); and as a Topic Expert for the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (2015).

Presentation: Compostable Food Packaging for Food Waste Reduction

Mateo Ocejo, Net Zero Waste 

Mateo has 22 years of project management experience in commercial and industrial projects. Since 2004, a focus has been placed on Organic Recycling and the utilization of the Gore Cover Technology which was new to North America. Mr. Ocejo has been recognized as an expert in the design and construction of this process technology. Net Zero Waste was founded in 2006 and has been involved in the design construction and operation of dozens of facilities across North America including facilities in Abbotsford and Whistler. Mateo has experience with most primary composting technologies on the market and has consulted and implemented multiple private and public sector process and operational improvements. He is a professional engineer in good standing within BC and has acted as a qualified professional for OMRR Facility Permitting on multiple site locations. He was also elected as the Technical Lead board member for the Composting Council of Canada.

Workshop Facilitated by the Science and Policy Integration Network (SPIN):

Science and Policy Integration Network

"The Science & Policy Integration Network is a networking hub that engages diverse stakeholders in conversations about policy issues affecting BC. Our aim is to create and strengthen community around these issues. We take a proactive approach to transferring knowledge, supporting mutual understanding and transparency. Our goal is to continuously move towards common ground and co-creation of solutions for today’s pressing issues."

RCBC will record stakeholder discussions and contributions to create a final report that summarizes the results of the presentations and workshop. The report will include identified barriers and opportunities that can be utilized as an informational resource for stakeholders for potential bioplastics opportunities.