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About the Experiment

We would like you to help us investigate the role and effectiveness of biodegradable and compostable packaging. The first part of the experiment is a short survey: We want to know what you think of biodegradable plastics, what you do with them, and if you ever compost them yourself. If you do engage in composting, there is a second part to the experiment. We ask if you would place a few biodegradable plastic items in your compost under controlled conditions, and then report back to us about whether they compost or not.

By taking part in our experiment, you will be helping us determine the viability of biodegradable and compostable plastics. The data we collect from you will feed into our Live Composting Map, a live map of home composting activities across the UK, and, with your consent, we will keep you up-to-date with the project as it develops. However, you also have the option to remain anonymous; we won’t need to bother you again.

About the team

The Big Compost Experiment was conceived by Danielle Purkiss and Professor Mark Miodownik from UCL’s Plastic Waste Innovation Hub. The test and images were created by Danielle Purkiss, food photography by Studio-SP, and the website was designed by Ten4.

This is one of a series of research initiatives currently being undertaken as part of UCL’s Plastic Waste Innovation Hub, jointly funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The Hub brings together a multidisciplinary team of experts from across UCL, who are creating and testing new interventions in eliminating plastic waste.