Can you imagine what a week’s worth of your household’s plastic waste looks like? If you were one of 250,000 people who completed The Big Plastic Count in 2022, you’ll already have an idea! This year, thousands more schools, community groups, businesses and households of all shapes and sizes will take part to push for bold action from the government.
It’s a crucial year for plastics. Countries are coming together to agree global rules for reducing plastic production and phasing out single-use plastics through The Global Plastics Treaty, and the UK government is a key player.
Plastics have been choking our oceans, damaging our health and contributing to the climate crisis for decades now. We’ve all been doing our bit to recycle but it’s just not solving the problem. There is simply more plastic than the system can cope with.
In 2022, The Big Plastic Count showed that a lot of the plastic we put in the recycling doesn’t actually end up getting recycled, and a lot of it gets dumped in other countries or burned in incinerators in the UK. What’s more, incinerators are more likely to be in poorer areas of the country and areas with higher proportions of people of colour. This is our year to change things.
So for just one week – 11–17 March 2024 – we’ll be counting our plastic waste. And we’ll use the evidence to convince UK ministers, supermarkets and big brands to lead the way at these talks.
How it works
It’s simple to take part in The Big Plastic Count.
- Sign up at thebigplasticcount.com/sign-up You can take part with your school or household. Just enter a few details and we’ll send you a free counting pack that gives you everything you need to take part, including a tally sheet that you can stick on your fridge or somewhere the whole household can see.
- Get counting. Every day from 11–17 March 2024, count the plastic items you throw away. There are some items you don’t need to count – check our FAQs. How you count is up to you: some people tick items off as they go, and some people put it all to one side to count at the end of the week. Remember, if you miss a day or two, don’t panic! Just keep counting. When you input your results, we can make allowances.
- Submit your results by 31 March. It’s easy to do, just head to thebigplasticcount.com/submit
- Get your footprint. Once you’ve submitted your results, we’ll send you your personalised plastic footprint. If you took part in 2022, you’ll also be able to compare your footprint year on year. Once all the data is in, our whizzy data analysts will use it to calculate the national picture too.
- Help us get the government to take action. We’ll use the evidence to show the government why it’s so important they take strong action to end the plastic problem for good. We’ve got lots of things up our sleeve to bring your hard work to their attention, so stay tuned!