Compostable wrap? Yes, but...

5 Aug

Compostable magazine wrap got a tentative thumbs from readers in the MPA’s recent nationwide survey – but readers are not convinced it’s the perfect answer.

1815 readers, recruited through the subscriber base of MPA member magazines, answered the survey, which explored attitudes and habits around recycling and composting.

Respondents were relatively clued up about environment issues and sustainability, and 79 per cent of said they made compost at home  - most often in black  plastic “dalek” bins.

When asked to chose between plastic and compostable wraps a small majority – 53 per cent -said they wanted compostable wrap. The rest were evenly split between “don’t know” and “plastic”.

Concerns were around whether the compostable wrap would break down efficiently, and that  some people didn’t have access to home bins – especially the growing number of apartment dwellers.

Other survey findings were:

  • 53 per cent of respondents said they usually throw their wrap in a rubbish bin.
  • Only 17 per cent used a soft plastic drop-off point at a supermarket or store. The main reasons for not doing this were that there was no convenient point near them, that they didn’t know enough about the scheme, and that they don’t trust that soft plastics are actually recycled.
  • A number of readers had come up with creative ways to reuse their plastic, including stuffing soft toys, wrapping lunch boxes in case of leakage, picking up dog poo and as a wrap for cheese or fruit.

The MPA ran the survey to help its decision making around finding a sustainable alternative for the current soft plastic wrap most magazines use around subscriber copies. We are continuing to talk to experts about all options: recycled plastic, compostable wrap of various kinds, paper – and are planning a citizen scientist trial to see how well compostable wrap does break down in home compost bins around the country.

Click here for the full survey