THE BIG PLASTIC COUNT, the UK’s largest-ever survey of household plastic waste, kicks off today.
More than 140,000 people plan to take part across the country, including schools, Westminster MPs, community groups, businesses, families and individuals. 6,804 people in Wales have signed up, including nine MPs and 80 teachers who will attend their classes.
The Big Plastic Count is a collaboration between Everyday Plastic and Greenpeace UK.
Celebrities such as Chris Packham, Joanna Lumley and Bonnie Wright are also in attendance.
94 Westminster MPs from all parties, including 9 from Wales, 3,500 school classes from across the UK and the People’s Postcode Lottery have also signed up.
The UK produces more plastic waste per person than any other country except the US.
In 2018, the country generated 5.2 million tonnes of plastic waste, enough to fill Wembley Stadium six times.
The UK also exports large amounts of plastic waste overseas, as Greenpeace’s viral animation Wasteminster highlighted last year.
The Big Plastic Count will reveal how much plastic packaging waste leaves UK homes and what happens to it after you throw it away.
It will provide a national snapshot of our plastic waste problem, filling a crucial evidence gap and showing the UK government and supermarkets that they need to act to tackle the problem.
Chris Packham said: “The UK is one of the world’s worst plastic polluters. Our flawed recycling system isn’t working, so instead of processing our plastic waste ourselves, we send large amounts of it overseas where it’s out of sight and far from our minds, but destroying nature and harming people. 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 they throw it away, and we hope it will force the government to act and solve the plastic waste crisis.
Chris Thorne, Plastics Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “The biggest ever investigation into plastic waste in the UK is officially underway.”
“We are delighted that so many people across Wales have signed up, making it clear once again that the public is concerned about their plastic waste and wants to see real action from the government to reverse the trend of our plastics crisis.
“It means an immediate end to the dumping of our waste in other countries like Turkey, and legally binding targets that really tackle the plastic problem at the source.”
Daniel Webb of Everyday Plastic said: “I decided to count all my plastic waste for an entire year in 2017. It helped me understand my personal plastic footprint, which completely shocked me and pushed me to start campaigning for change. ”
The results of The Big Plastic Count will show us what is really happening to our plastic waste, nationwide, and inspire thousands of participants to demand real action to stem the tide of plastic packaging.
“This is truly a crucial moment in the fight against the plastic problem.”
“We hope the results of The Big Plastic Count will persuade the government, supermarkets and big brands to take bold action to tackle the plastic crisis once and for all, which is hugely exciting, maybe even revolutionary.”
Each participant will record the different types of plastic packaging waste they throw away and submit their results. This will generate a national picture of our plastic waste, demonstrating the scale of the problem and putting even more pressure on the government to act.
The unique methodology behind the Big Plastic Count was developed by Everyday Plastic founder Daniel Webb.
He collected every piece of his plastic waste for a year and worked with a research scientist to turn it into a robust methodology that the public can now use to find out what happens to their plastic waste when they throw it away.
A YouGov survey for Greenpeace UK found that while more than three-quarters (77%) of people in the UK recycle plastic products to reduce their waste, almost as many (75%) don’t know what happens of their plastic recycling after throwing it away.
Greenpeace UK and Everyday Plastic will publish the results of the survey as soon as they have been processed. Campaigners hope the results will spur the UK government to reduce single-use plastic by 50% by 2025, ban all exports of plastic waste and implement a deposit-return scheme (DRS) for recycling and disposal. reuse.