UBC Undergraduate Research

Sustainability & Convenience at UBC : Are Compostable Bags the Solution? Walsh, Hannah; Niderost, Chloë; Price, Kayla


This study aimed to explore the relationship between convenience and composting habits. More specifically, does providing compostable plastic bags to students living in The University of British Columbia’s Thunderbird Residence increase the prevalence of proper composting? This study used a self-report questionnaire to better understand Thunderbird Residence’s composting habits and motivation. Additionally, every week data was collected from Thunderbird Residence’s composting facility/bins. Photographs were taken of each compost bin and rated on a plastic contamination scale (ranging from 1-5). Overall, this study found results that were in line with the hypothesis; being given plastic compostable bags was associated with better composting habits. This means that the residence blocks that were given plastic compost bags (blocks 3000 & 5000) had higher scores on the contamination scale, with less plastic contamination and better composting habits. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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