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The Big Plastic Count

23 February, 2024

Every year, nearly 100 billion pieces of plastic packaging are thrown away by households in the UK, with only 12% of that finding its way into recycling. There is a pressing need for change, and as world leaders continue to negotiate the UN’s Global Plastics Treaty – a legally binding agreement which could introduce new measures against plastic consumption – now is the time to play our part in helping to solve the plastic crisis. 

Enter The Big Plastic Count, the UK’s biggest plastic investigation, and a creation of Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic. It’s a week where participants – ranging from schools, households and businesses – rally together to count their plastic waste. And while an organised count might be a more tepid form of activism than usual, it’s an initiative that has proven to be key in revealing the extent of the UKs prevailing plastic problem. Last year’s count revealed that almost two billion pieces of plastic are being thrown away weekly, providing the UK government with clear evidence of the sheer scale of the problem.  

The Big Plastic Count will be taking place from the 11th-17th March, and is open to schools, households, community groups and businesses to participate in. If you think you might be interested, all you have to do is register here, and you’ll be sent a free (and recyclable) pack with everything you need to get counting. If you’re a teacher, that includes a free classroom resources and a prepared lesson plan too. Then, it’s time to count, submit your results onto the website, before being sent your own personal plastic footprint, showing where all your waste ends up. 

Start practising your arithmetic and join the 30,000 participants and 3,800 school classes that have already signed up today. 

By Rosie Serlin

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