Climate Change

UCL launched ‘The Big Compost Experiment’ back in November. The team at UCL asked members of the public to fill in an online questionnaire about their composting and recycling habits. With special reference to plastic packaging labelled as ‘compostable’, they want you to see whether your compost bin at home can break down these products. Despite starting in the coldest season, where compost production really slows down, they’ve had some success. To take part, go to

An update on the experiment was given by the scientists in a Radio 4 broadcast of Inside Science on 27th February.  The programme is available on BBC Sounds for a year.  The experiment is the first in the world which focusses on who, how and where we compost our food waste.  It also looks at how bio-degradable are certain items sold to us on a daily basis – coffee cups, spoons, bio-degradable magazine covers etc and will track decomposition of these items.

The aim of the survey is to provide data which can be fed back to government and companies in order to inform legislation and production.

Also see The Plastic Waste Innovation Hub website: