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Announcing the launch of the Big Compost Experiment

Today, UCL’s Plastic Waste Innovation Hub launches the Big Compost Experiment (BCE), a nationwide citizen science research experiment designed to collect data on current public opinion on biodegradable plastics, their use, and their disposability and degradation through home composting in the UK.

Biodegradable plastics are growing in popularity, both with brands and the public, largely because they are believed to be a solution to single-use plastics. However, their environmental credentials are questionable due to on-going confusion about their collection and processing, as well as their contamination of the environment and other waste streams.

The BCE consists of a publicly accessible website containing a short online survey, online instructions and login facilities for an optional home composting experiment, as well as a blog that helps raise awareness of the issue of plastic waste. Its main objectives are to gather and analyse data on public opinion and behaviour in relation to biodegradable plastics and home composting; to understand what the current demands, benefits, and implications are of standards that regulate the production and use of biodegradable plastics; and to raise awareness of the use and disposal of biodegradable plastics in relation to different waste management streams, including home composting.

For more information and to take part, please visit


Listen to us talk about the BCE on BBC Radio 4's ‘Inside Science’ today, 4:30pm.

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