Consumer behavior – Compostable packaging

The Compostable Coalition UK embarked on a comprehensive consumer behavior trial in Medway, England, to assess and enhance the proper disposal of compostable packaging. This trial spanned six weeks and engaged 120 households, providing them with educational materials and clear compostability labels. The initiative aimed to address the lack of uniform guidance on compostable packaging disposal across local authorities in the UK.

Participants received a variety of products from well-known brands such as Co-op, Ocado, and Lipton Teas, packaged in both traditional plastic and compostable materials. The introduction of newly developed labels from Hubbub and OPRL served as a crucial visual aid in distinguishing compostable packaging.

The trial not only focused on providing clear instructions but also included educational resources developed in collaboration with behavioral scientists from the University of Sheffield. These resources aimed to educate residents on the importance of checking packaging labels and utilizing food waste bins while elucidating the composting process.

The results of the trial were promising, demonstrating a significant increase in the number of consumers disposing of compostable packaging in food waste bins, with a notable decrease in contamination levels. Furthermore, there was a substantial uptick in the amount of food waste correctly entering food waste bins during the trial period.

In addition to consumer-focused initiatives, the Compostable Coalition UK conducted composting trials at EnVar, one of the UK's largest composting sites. These trials involved the testing of various compostable items under standard operating conditions, yielding positive results and certification of high-quality compost.

Despite the challenges highlighted by the University College London's Big Compost Experiment regarding home composting of biodegradable and compostable plastics, the Coalition remains committed to advancing compostable packaging solutions. With impending mandates from DEFRA requiring food waste collection from all English households by 2026, the Coalition's data on compostable packaging is poised to inform future guidelines and policies.

Post 04/03/2024

in News
Federico Bassotto March 4, 2024
Share this post