Our Research

Closing the Loop: Ensuring full circularity for compostable packaging

Our objectives


With all relevant stakeholders to ensure a circular end of life solution is achieved for compostable packaging.


Business opportunity and market access for compostable packaging, by galvanising the required systemic change in the UK.


The practicality of effectively collecting, sorting & recycling compostable packaging via existing UK infrastructure.


The full economic and environmental impact and benefits of mainstreaming compostable packaging to replace some key hard-to-recycle plastics.


Gap Analysis

  • Conduct wide-ranging stakeholder interviews to identity key existing barriers and opportunities to integrate compostable packaging as part of the UK’s bio-waste collection and treatment streams.
  • Summarise key requirements to remove existing barriers and support wider uptake of compostable packaging by industry and government.


Collection & Consumer Behaviour

  • Test consumer behaviour by examining impact of varied consumer interventions designed to educate and incentivise consumers to dispose of compostable packaging via three disposal/collection routes:
    • a take-back program (via an online retailer)
    • a residential food waste bin
    • a food waste bin in a closed loop arena (dining hall)
  • Create manuals to suggest key best practice measures to support appropriate consumer behaviour interventions for the three examined collection methods.



  • Conduct feasibility testing using existing and novel technologies to support identification of compostable packaging in both compost and AD plants.
  • Create industry manual on how to sort and remove physical contamination while keeping compostables.


Organic Recycling

  • Conduct feasibility studies to examine the ability to compost a wide range of compostable packaging and formats via local industrial compost & AD sites.
  • Create industry manuals to suggest best practice measures to achieve full biodegradation of compostable packaging.


Environmental Impact

  • Study soil benefit elements such as carbon sequestration and biodiversity for compost processed with compostable packaging to create new scientific data currently missing.
  • Examine and report on the environmental impact of key compostable packaging applications benchmarked against current hard-to-recycle plastics.


Cost Benefit analysis

  • Assess the broader environmental and ecological impact of compostable packaging.
  • Suggest a policy roadmap and toolbox to fully capture the benefits of compostable packaging in support of the UK Government and UK Plastics Pact goals.



Disseminate and communicate results across all key stakeholders via various private and public media channels.