Recycling, Consumer Credibility and Ecosystem Integrity

Project: Research

Project Details


If organic agricultural production is to be increased and conventional
manure use reduced it is necessary to find alternative fertilizer inputs ie
recycled household waste compost, sewage bio-solids and potential
industrial resources. This might also fit well with a desire to be part of
the emerging circular economy. But, how will such recycling impact the
credibility of organic agriculture in the eyes of consumers? Answering
this question is the overriding aim of the project.

The project assesses key soil and ecosystem health effects of using
household waste compost, sewage biosolids and human urine in
organic farming. We draw on literature and employ KU's long-term trials
on waste recycling we investigate the effects of micro-plastics and
heavy metals on the soil micro-food web and rhizobium populations.

Drawing on these effects we investigate consumer perception of the
use of the above recycled fertilizers in OA. How do different
information and communication strategies impact these perceptions?
The project includes: 1) In-depth qualitative exploration of consumer
attention points on recycling and 2) based on this a quantitative
analysis of a large number of consumers' attitudes to recirculation

Finally, the project will integrate health and soil effects of recycling and
its impact on consumer perceptions of organic agricultural products in a
report for future use by organic stakeholders.
Effective start/end date01/01/202031/12/2023