Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic are launching The Big Plastic Count today, 16th May 2022, looking into household plastic waste. The initiative wants to gather data to see how much plastic is passing through our homes and what happens to it.

The environmental organisations say, whilst the public are doing their bit to recycle, plastic waste is still everywhere and they want greater insight into how much plastic waste is being thrown away and where it is ending up after it leaves homes.

They say there’s “simply too much of it and recycling alone isn’t going to solve the plastic problem.”

To gain insight into the scale of the issue, Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic are asking the nation to count their plastic waste for one week in May, from 16th May to 22nd May. They want to know how much household plastic is thrown away and how much is really recycled.

Over 177,000 households have signed up to take part. They will be sent a free pack with everything needed to complete the count, including how to sort and categorise waste.

Participants will be able to submit their results online once the Big Plastic Count Week concludes on 22nd May. The results will then provide households with a personal plastic footprint and reveal what happens to plastic when it leaves homes.

The results from the nationwide investigation will be published in June 2022 and the organisations say they will use the data to demand change from government at a policy level, as well as convincing big brands and supermarkets to take ambitious action on plastic packaging.

Everyday Plastic states the timing of this evidence-gathering investigation is crucial as this year the government is starting to decide on legal targets to reduce plastic waste. The community interest company wants the government to set a target to reduce single-use plastic by 50% by 2025 (to be achieved by transitioning to reusable packaging) and ban sending the UK’s waste to other countries.