What do you know about composting? Take UGA’s survey by March 31.

Do you compost food or gardening waste? Do you know what compostable certification labels look like and what they mean when you see them on packaging? Regardless of your answers, if you live in the U.S., the University of Georgia’s New Materials Institute wants to know what you know about composting, and is asking members of the public to voluntarily complete a survey by March 31st.

“While access to municipal or private composting services is increasingly common in the U.S., public knowledge of how composting works and what people are composting is not well known,” said Jenna Jambeck, who is leading the research team conducting the survey. Jambeck is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor in Environmental Engineering, and co-founder of the UGA New Materials Institute. “Individual municipal programs may be able to track levels of participation in composting programs, but disposal of compostable packaging and compostable products has not been a focus of many past surveys of consumers.”

This survey seeks to understand consumer activities around composting, especially related to food waste and compostable food serviceware and packaging. It also seeks to gauge the level of consumer awareness of bio-based, biodegradable and compostable certification labels; disposal actions that consumers associate with those labels; and whether these certification labels influence consumer perception of consumer brands and products.

Members of the public should be able to complete the survey in less than 10 minutes, and can take it from their cell phone or other device connected to the internet. All responses will remain completely anonymous. The researchers request that only one individual from a household take the survey on behalf of the household. Data gathered may be used in research publications or presentations given by UGA researchers, students, or UGA’s research partners.

The deadline to complete the survey is March 31, 2021.

“Thank you to everyone who takes time to complete the survey. The data will help inform the design of materials before they become waste,” said Jambeck.

About the UGA New Materials Institute:

The UGA New Materials Institute is committed to preventing waste through the design of materials and systems that adhere to Green Engineering principles. The Institute partners with industry and businesses to design materials for their use that are bio-based, fully biodegradable, or completely recyclable, and safe for people, animals and our planet. In addition, it works with businesses and governments, foundations and other organizations to redesign systems so that they generate less waste and promote circularity in materials management. The New Materials Institute is also shaping the future by training the next generation of scientists and engineers on the importance of considering Green Engineering design principles in everything they do. For more information, visit newmaterials.uga.edu.