Throughout April Greenpeace Huddersfield volunteers have been speaking to members of the public from across Kirklees about The Big Plastic Count. Volunteers showed passers-by a photo of the six months’ worth of plastic used by Everyday Plastic founder Daniel Webb (attached), and asked them to guess how many people’s plastic this was. Hardly anyone guessed correctly and most people were shocked when they realised how much plastic one person could generate.
The Big Plastic Count, a collaboration between Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic, is taking place between 16th - 22nd May. It will uncover the truth about how much household plastic we throw away, and how much is really recycled. Individuals, households, schools, community groups and businesses across the UK will count their plastic packaging waste, record the different types they throw away and submit their results online. The campaign is supported by actor Bonnie Wright, as well as naturalist and television presenter, Chris Packham.
Greenpeace volunteer Sally Brown, from Holmfirth, said: "We’re all doing our bit to recycle, but plastic waste is still everywhere.
"That’s why I’m counting my plastic for one week between 16th - 22nd May, and submitting this data to get my personal plastic footprint and to find out what really happens to our plastic waste.".
Over 100,000 people from across the UK have signed up to take part so far, including 83 in Huddersfield. Anyone can join the campaign by signing up at https://thebigplasticcount.com’
The data each participant generates will contribute to an overall national picture, filling a crucial evidence gap on exactly how much plastic packaging waste is leaving UK homes. The results will demonstrate the scale of the plastic waste problem and pressure the government and supermarkets to tackle the root cause of the plastic crisis.
The launch of The Big Plastic Count comes as new polling from YouGov, commissioned by Greenpeace UK, shows that more than four in five people (81%) want the UK Government to introduce targets to reduce plastic waste. In the North of England, 77% of people support such targets.
The YouGov survey also shows how almost four in five (77%) people in the UK recycle plastic products in order to reduce plastic waste. However, three in four (75%) don’t know what happens to their plastic recycling after disposing of it.
The UK produces more plastic waste per person than almost any other country in the world - second only to the USA. In 2018, the UK generated 5.2 million tonnes, enough to fill Wembley Stadium six times over.
Local resident, Moira Sykes, said: "We know there’s still so much plastic that people can’t recycle. Every time I put plastic in the bin it kills a bit of my soul. I feel even worse about it now that I’ve got grandchildren."
This year, the government is starting to decide on legal targets to reduce plastic waste. Greenpeace Huddersfield is calling on the Government to set a target to reduce single-use plastic by 50% by 2025, to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme for plastic re-use and recycling, and ban the dumping of our waste onto other countries.
Sign-up at https://thebigplasticcount.com/