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9 Month Report

9 months into the Big Compost Experiment we continue to receive fantastic enthusiasm and support from participants all over the UK! We are seeing some really interesting results from over 8000 survey responses and 1500 home compost experiments (underway or finished). See latest pie charts and bar charts below showing the results so far.

Although many parts of the UK experienced a cooler than average August bank holiday, overall mean temperatures and rainfall over the summer have been slightly higher than UK regional averages. As we move now from summer towards cooler autumnal conditions the environment in home composters continues to change. Additionally, many participants have experienced changes in their usual household cooking, gardening and disposal practices during the Covid-19 pandemic, many of which could influence home compost environments. Although a number of participants have found that their compostable plastic items have completely degraded during their regular composting timeframes, a large proportion of results show intact or partially degraded items at present.

The study is ongoing with opportunities for new participants and returning participants to take part over the coming year. We'd like more participants to get involved in order to get a better understanding of how different home compostable items perform throughout the year and under a range of home composting conditions. Your responses and results are incredibly valuable to the study and will help improve the manufacture, use, and disposal of compostable plastics in the UK.

You can help us by letting others know how to get involved. We'll update you again on the progress of the results this Winter.

Keep well, many thanks and happy composting!

Danielle & Mark
UCL Plastic Waste Innovation Hub

Catchup on the latest news from the Big Compost Experiment with Mark Miodownik on BBC Inside Science (6 August 2020 @ 10'30" ).
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000lf9z