Survey on Precious Plastic

Hi everyone, I am new to the forum, although I have been ‘lurking’ here a couple of times (I hope you don’t mind). I am a research associate (social sciences background) at the Sustainable Consumption Institute of the University of Manchester, and some of my current research focus on grassroots sustainability movements, of which I see Precious Plastic as an important example.

I recently had the opportunity to get a modest amount of funding from my institute to set up a small project. I decided to use this money to get an assistant to help me do small surveys of two movements that I am interested in: The Repair Cafe movement and Precious Plastic movement. The idea is to do a survey similar to surveys that have been done before with Repair Cafes (see this report for an example; Martin Charter, who led the earlier surveys, is also supporting me with advice on my project). I am mostly interested in finding out more about how the movements have grown, how mature individual initiatives are in terms of how they are organised, and how diverse they are in terms of their setup and activities. I want to keep the surveys simple and short; we’re aiming for something that takes about 15 minutes to complete. Just to be clear, this is not an attempt to create a ‘formal’ social scientific survey. The scope of the survey is very modest, but I hope it will help to create an overview of some interesting aspects of the movement.

What would I do with the results? I hope to write one publication about Repair Cafes and Precious Plastic as examples of an emerging grassroots (re)making movement, and the results may serve as inputs for that. More importantly, I would like to use the results as input for more elaborate research proposals on this topic. Finally, I hope the results are interesting to you as well, which is why the results will indeed be shared with you.

Of course, this will only work if the survey questions are useful and sensible, and if I am able to reach a sufficient number of people. I expect to have a draft survey ready soon, and I was hoping to do a small pilot, which means that I am looking for a small number of people that would like to take a look at the draft, fill it out, and provide me with some feedback (everything will be done online). If you are willing to help out with this, you can either leave a comment here, or get in touch with me directly ( I think we will be able to have the pilot survey ready by November. I hope to do the actual survey early 2019.

Also, an unsolved problem at this moment is how to get a reasonable amount of respondents from the Precious Plastic community when the survey would go live. Any suggestions on how to reach as many members of the community as possible are very welcome. 

Any other feedback/comments are of course welcome as well.

As a final note, I just wanted to mention that I of course contacted Dave Hakken about this. He is interested in the idea, but obviously does not have time to get deeply involved at this moment, due to current work on Precious Plastic version 4. He suggested me to post on the forum.

Any comments/questions are welcome!


Always happy to check tings 😉

Hi lu,

Thanks for your feedback. I completely agree that the absence of the option to go back is an unnecessary nuisance, and we will definitely change this for the final version of the survey.

Thank you as well for the suggestion to distribute the survey via the Facebook group. I haven’t used the Facebook group yet, although I probably would not have for the pilot survey anyway, because I just wanted to have feedback from a handful of people from the community before distributing the survey at a larger scale. Dave wants to see the final version of the survey before he decided on whether to help with distribution on not (he is understandably reluctant to bother the community with too many questions). If that does not work out, the Facebook group will definitely be a useful channel for distribution of us.

If you have other suggestions for reaching out to the community through different channels, they will be very welcome!

Thanks again for the feedback.



Dear Wouter,
I’m one of those that browsed the survey without filling it out as I’m a survey/stats geek and I like looking at how they’re built before filling in (or even when it does not apply to me).
So one remark: not being able to go back and verify and correct answers is not how I would do it, plus it is preventing me from filling it in properly as I just clicked some random options to be able to move forward.
Also a suggestion: have you shared this survey in the FaceBook PP community page (

I just wanted to leave a friendly reminder for those that intend to help out with the pilot survey that it would be great to have your feedback by 21 December. So far we have had one person filling out the survey, and a few looking at the survey without filling it out.

Just to be clear: We welcome any feedback. If there is anything that bothers you about the survey, please let us know. We will use any opportunity to improve where we can.

Thanks again, and happy holidays and a happy new year.

Hi Kailj!

Thanks for your willingness to help! You can still follow the link I posted earlier:

By the way, I have noticed that the pilot version does not allow you to go back to pages that you’ve already passed, which is quite annoying and something we will definitely change in the final version of the survey.

Looking forward to reading your feedback.



Id be happy to help! could I have the link?

Hi all,

After another small delay, we are finally ready to send you the link for the pilot survey. Please follow the link below to get to it.

Some information before you follow the link: The survey is an online survey with questions distributed over several pages. The estimated time required to complete the survey is around 15 minutes. If the time that you spend on it diverges a lot from this estimate, please do let us know!

For the pilot we added some additional fields at the bottom of each page where you can leave feedback if you want. We did this to make sure that it is not necessary for you to keep notes as you go through the survey. If you use these fields to record your feedback, then there should be no need to send me any feedback through other channels. There is also a field by the end of the survey (Any other things to add?) where you can also leave feedback if you want (for example, general comments on the survey).

If you instead prefer to just send me feedback via email, that is also fine (basically, whatever works best for you). If you choose to do this, you can send me an email at

Just for the sake of clarity: We will only be using the results of the survey to improve it where necessary. The answers you filled out will be deleted before we send out the final survey somewhere early 2019. At this point, there is also no need to leave your email address if you wish to receive the results of our study (one of the final questions). We will only be using the email addresses recorded in the final survey (and we will delete these after distributing the results).

Thanks again for volunteering to do this! This will be of great help to us.

Link to pilot survey:


Just one more thing that I should add: It would be great if you could return your feedback to us by the 21st of December.

Hello all, I just wanted to give a sign of life and let you know that we nearly have a draft survey that we are happy to pilot. I think the easiest thing to do for us all would be for me to drop a link to the pilot survey here once it is ready. The time that we have to work on this is a bit ‘spotty’, so it is hard to give an accurate estimate. However, I expect that I can drop the link within 2 weeks or so.

Just for your information: In the survey we won’t be asking for personal information (like your name, age and so on), because the survey is about Precious Plastic projects/workshops and not about the individuals that make up the community. This would also be a very interesting topic, but including it now would make our survey longer than I want it to be. The survey does ask you to describe your own role in your Precious Plastic project, and offers the possibility to leave an email address if you want to receive a summary of the results.

For the pilot, you of course don’t have to fill out the email address, since the pilot is mostly intended for us to gather feedback on the sensibility and phrasing of the questions and so on.

In the above, ‘we’ stands for Malte Rödl and me. Malte is a PhD student at the Sustainable Consumption Institute that is helping me out with the surveys.

Again, if there are any questions/comments so far, please let me know.

Hi Wouter,

I’m in India and these are my first few minutes at Precious Plastic

My WhatsApp nnumbe is +91 9502044255
I’ll be glad to support you.

Just ask as you progress.
I’m going to be around with a good number of people.

Hi stanza6, Great! Thank you very much. This thread already makes me realise that the survey should take into account people that have only just started getting involved. I’ll have to look into that before I actually run the pilot.

Hi wouterspekkink
Sounds like an interesting project.  I’ll be happy to help with the pilot.

Great! Thank you, benjamins.

Thank you Zsazsa! I’ll be in touch with you as soon as we’re ready (and after a few more people have responded). You have a lovely day as well.

Hi, count me in 🙂 And good luck with it. I am working on two locations from totally zero. I hope it is gonna catch in. Like a fever 😉 Have a lovely day.