First-Ever U.S. Plastics Pact Sustainable Packaging Innovation Award goes to Smile Compostable Solutions

1 November 2022

Smile Compostable Solutions® won the compostability category for the first-ever U.S. Plastics Pact Sustainable Packaging Innovation Award. The award showcases companies that are eliminating problematic and unnecessary plastic packaging while taking actions to ensure that 100% of plastic packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Smile is recognized as a business making strides to advance sustainable packaging solutions that contribute to a circular economy.

Smile was chosen by a panel of expert judges in circularity and packaging engineering from leading retailers and sustainability organizations. Criteria was based on the improved environmental impact of the product, likelihood of commercial viability and the level of potential impact in moving the industry towards circularity. Smile's pods provide a convenient, sustainable solution for polypropylene plastic (PP #5) coffee pods, especially where there is limited recycling available and food contact is present. PP #5 pods are rarely recycled, due to small size, food contact, and the need to separate the lid, filter and grounds before recycling. Smile's pods compost whole, eliminating water waste from cleaning and lid disposal.  

"This validation from the U.S. Plastics Pact should prove to companies sitting on the sustainability fence that there is an immediate compostable, carbon neutral and plant-based solution that gives everyone in the coffee pod industry the opportunity to reduce their plastic and carbon footprints to help improve the environment," stated Smile Compostable Solutions CEO and Co-Founder Michael Sands. "Why wait until 2025 when consumers want it and it is available today?"

The compostability category judges how well a product meets Biodegradable Products Institute's (BPI) composting certification standards. In addition to passing ASTM D6400 and D6868 standards, BPI Certified products must be associated with the diversion of feedstocks desired by compost manufacturers and cannot be a redesign of a product that's a better fit for recycling. Aligning with BPI's prohibition on fluorinated chemicals, Smile's pod is also free from BPA, PFAS, and petroleum plastic while exceeding BPI's certification mark requirements by displaying accurate marketing language and certification logos on all packaging, including on the actual lid of the pod itself.

"Smile Compostable Coffee Pods are a fully compostable packaging solution with countless opportunities for expansion. The judges were impressed with their holistic approach to making sure the full package was compostable and designed to clearly communicate that to the consumer," said Crystal Bayliss, U.S. Plastics Pact Program Manager, Circular Economy Strategic Relationships. "We applaud Smile Compostable Solutions on their efforts to help businesses and individuals meet their plastic and carbon reduction goals and can't wait to see what they do next."

Smile Compostable Solutions® is the only fully-certified compostable turn-key pod system to help an entire brand's offerings go sustainable. Smile also offers TÜV-Austria OK Home compostable straws and certified commercially compostable laminate bags. Our award-winning material meets or exceeds all new state regulations and can be used across many food categories. We offer the convenience of a one stop shop across pods, straws, bags and foodware with the best compostable materials.

© 2022, Smile Coffee Werks

Smile Coffee Werks and the green coffee pod are U.S. registered trademarks of Smile Beverage Werks, LLC. All rights reserved. Smile is not affiliated with, endorsed or sponsored by Nespresso or Keurig Dr Pepper. Commercial composting facilities may not exist in your area. Visit or to find a compost facility near you!

About Smile Beverage Werks PBC

Smile Beverage Werks, PBC is a Delaware Public Benefits Corporation d/b/a Smile Compostable Solutions. Smile utilizes its best-in-class compostable materials for solutions in food packaging, including single-use coffee pods, straws and bags. Founded by Michael Sands and Frank Schuster, Smile produces all plant-based, compostable and carbon neutral products. Follow Smile on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram or visit our website to learn more.