Big Plastic Count ‘will show national scale of UK’s waste problem’

The collaboration between Everyday Plastic and Greenpeace UK will see people record the different types of plastic packaging waste they throw away.

Aine Fo
Monday 16 May 2022 00:01
Chris Packham is among the tens of thousands of people joining the Big Plastic Count (GreenpeaceUK/PA)
Chris Packham is among the tens of thousands of people joining the Big Plastic Count (GreenpeaceUK/PA)

Tens of thousands of people across the UK are set to record how much packaging they throw away as part of an effort to provide a national snapshot of the plastic waste problem.

Environmentalist Chris Packham, actress Bonnie Wright and dozens of MPs will be among around 140,000 people participating in the Big Plastic Count, Greenpeace said.

The charity said the data collected will fill what they described as a crucial evidence gap and help show the Government and supermarkets that more must be done to tackle the problem.

Actress Bonnie Wright is among those taking part in the “Big Plastic Count” (GreenpeaceUK/PA)

The count, a collaboration between Everyday Plastic and Greenpeace UK, will see people recording the different types of plastic packaging waste they throw away and submit their results.

The aim is to generate a national picture of plastic waste to demonstrate the scale of the problem, informing people what happens to their waste when they dispose of it.

Greenpeace said the UK produces more plastic waste per person than any other country except the US, and exports large quantities of plastic waste abroad.

The Big Plastic Count is such an exciting project. It will, for the first time, tell ordinary people what happens to their plastic waste after we throw it away

Chris Packham

TV presenter Mr Packham branded the UK “one of the worst plastic polluters in the world”.

He said: “Our broken recycling system doesn’t work, so instead of dealing with our plastic waste ourselves we send vast quantities of it overseas where it’s out of sight and out of mind for us, but destroying nature and harming people elsewhere.

“The Big Plastic Count is such an exciting project. It will, for the first time, tell ordinary people what happens to their plastic waste after we throw it away and we hope it will force the Government to take action and address the plastic waste crisis.”

Chris Thorne, plastics campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said the count will be “the biggest-ever investigation into the UK’s plastic waste”.

He said: “We’re delighted that so many have signed up, making clear once again that the public is concerned about their plastic waste and want to see genuine action from the Government to turn the tide on our plastics crisis.

“That means an immediate end to us dumping our waste on other countries like Turkey and legally-binding targets that actually tackle the plastic problem at source.”

The results from The Big Plastic Count will ... inspire thousands of participants to demand real action to stem the tide of plastic packaging

Daniel Webb, Everyday Plastic

Daniel Webb, of Everyday Plastic, said counting all of his plastic waste for a whole year had helped him to understand his “personal plastic footprint”, saying he was “completely shocked” by it.

He said: “The results from The Big Plastic Count will show us what’s really happening to our plastic waste, at a national scale, and inspire thousands of participants to demand real action to stem the tide of plastic packaging.”

Greenpeace UK and Everyday Plastic said the results of the survey will be released as soon as they have been processed, with campaigners hoping they can push the Government to reduce single-use plastic by 50% by 2025, ban all plastic waste exports and implement a deposit return scheme (DRS) for recycling and reuse.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in