UK properties binning 100 billion items of plastic a 12 months, survey finds

UK households throw away practically 100 billion items of plastic annually, based on a landmark survey by Greenpeace and On a regular basis Plastic.

The startling new information revealing the dimensions of plastic waste additionally reveals that simply 12 per cent of the single-use packaging utilized in properties is shipped for recycling within the UK.

The 2 environmental charities launched The Big Plastic Count — one of many largest voluntary analysis tasks into the dimensions of plastic waste — with practically 250,000 individuals from nearly 100,000 UK households counting each piece of disposable packaging they used over the course of seven days throughout Might.

Collaborating households have been discovered to throw away a mean of 66 items of packaging each week.

An evaluation of the figures discovered that the most important proportion of plastic waste got here from food and drinks packaging (83 per cent), with the most typical merchandise recorded being fruit and vegetable packaging, adopted by snack luggage, packets and wrappers.

If scaled up throughout each house within the UK, it suggests Britons are throwing out 96.6 billion items of disposable plastic a 12 months, the 2 charities stated.

Plastic waste at a landfill website

The examine additionally discovered that round 46 per cent of discarded plastic is incinerated, whereas 25 per cent is dumped in landfill.

Solely 12 per cent might be recycled in UK services, the survey discovered, with an extra 17 per cent shipped overseas for processing.

Greenpeace and On a regular basis Plastic at the moment are calling on the federal government to set legally binding targets to chop single-use plastics by not less than 50 per cent by 2025.

They need to see disposable plastics nearly solely eradicated in future, a ban on plastic waste exports, a deposit return scheme on drinks containers, and a moratorium on new incineration capability.

Whereas the UK authorities publishes information on the burden of plastic waste being produced by UK households, it doesn’t gather information on the variety of plastic gadgets being thrown away.

The brand new information shared by the 2 charities is, due to this fact, stated to offer a strong new perception into the dimensions of the plastic waste downside.

Daniel Webb, founding father of On a regular basis Plastic, described the Massive Plastic Rely as “an unbelievable piece of citizen science”.

“This can be a huge second within the battle in opposition to plastic waste,” he stated.

“These new figures lay naked the duty of the federal government, huge manufacturers and supermarkets to sort out this disaster, and so they should rise to the problem proper now — there is no such thing as a time to waste.”

Virtually 100,000 households took half within the Massive Plastic Rely

Greenpeace UK plastics campaigner Chris Thorne known as on the Authorities to “flip off the plastic faucet”.

“This can be a jaw-dropping quantity of plastic waste and will give ministers pause for thought,” he stated. “Pretending we will kind this with recycling is simply trade greenwash.”

He added: “We’re creating 100 billion bits of waste plastic a 12 months, and recycling is hardly making a dent. What else do the Authorities must know earlier than they act?”

A spokeswoman for the Division for Surroundings, Meals and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) stated: “We’re going additional to sort out single-use plastics by our landmark Surroundings Act.

“We’ve restricted the provision of plastic straws and cotton buds, banned the provision of plastic drinks stirrers and are finalising proposals to introduce a deposit return scheme which might seize plastic bottles.

“Packaging producers might be anticipated to cowl the price of recycling and disposing of their packaging by the introduction of prolonged producer duty, and this 12 months we launched a world-leading plastic tax to assist sort out plastic waste.”

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