100,000 count their plastic to tackle the plastic crisis

Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic supporters just made history by taking part in The Big Plastic Count - the biggest ever investigation into plastic waste.



This May, UK households of all shapes and sizes, schools, businesses, community groups and MPs came together to do something practical to help tackle the plastic crisis.

For seven days, over 100,000 people counted their plastic bottles and wrappers to help uncover the truth about how much household plastic we really throw away and what really happens to it.

The Big Plastic Count week itself was a hive of activity with some familiar faces like actor Bonnie Wright, Chris Packham and Joanna Lumley shouting from the rooftops about the Big Plastic Count.

After submitting their findings everyone received their own eye-opening personal footprint telling them what happens to their plastic waste, with thousands of people going on to share their footprints with their MPs, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and on social media – including lots of MPs.

Why does counting plastic help tackle the plastic crisis?

Later this year the government is setting long-term environmental targets and currently there is no plastic reduction target on the table.

As it stands, plastic production is set to double in the next 20 years. If the government doesn’t take this opportunity to set ambitious targets, the plastic crisis is just going to keep getting worse. We need bigger, bolder action. And The Big Plastic Count is all about proving that – with everyone coming together to push for it to happen.

The new data The Big Plastic Count gathers will be crucial to convince the government, big brands and supermarkets to take ambitious action on reducing plastic packaging. Specifically, we want the government to set a target to reduce single-use plastic by 50% by 2025 (by switching to reusable options that work for everyone) and ban the dumping of our waste on other countries.

What’s next?

Over the summer mathematicians and scientists will be studying everyone’s findings. Then in mid-July we’ll be releasing the national results.  We’ll use these results to put pressure on the government to set proper targets on reducing our plastic waste. The national results will open the government’s eyes to the true scale of the plastic problem so that they have to do something meaningful about it.

To everyone who’s been involved so far a massive thank you – you have been part of something truly amazing! Keep your eyes peeled for the national results.

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