4 November 2022
by Alex Brinded

Home composting unfit for compostable packaging in the UK?

The University of London research team analysed compostable and biodegradable plastics using a citizen science approach.

© Lenka Dzurendova/unsplash

Home composting is not an effective or environmentally beneficial waste processing method for biodegradable or compostable packaging in the UK, concludes a University of London study.

The team engaged with 9,701 UK citizens, and 1,648 people performed home compost experiements of compostable plastics.

The researchers say that the results show that the public are confused about labels for compostale and biodegradable plastics.

Of sampled plastic items tested, only 14% were certified as 'industrial compostable' and 46% had no compostable certification.

Of the biodegradable and compostable plastics tested under different home composting conditions, the majority did not disintegrate, including 60% of those labelled 'home compostable'.

The Big Compost Experiment: Using citizen science to assess the impact and effectiveness of biodegradable and compostable plastics in UK home composting was published in the Frontiers in Sustainability.

Authors

Alex Brinded

Staff Writer