100 billion pieces of packaging thrown away every year
Almost 100 billion pieces of plastic packaging are thrown away in the UK each year, according to a new survey.
Earlier this year, Greenpeace launched its Big Plastic Count. For a week in May, the environmental nonprofit asked almost 250,000 people to record how much plastic packaging they threw in the trash or put in for recycling.
According to the results, almost 6.5 million pieces of plastic were thrown away in one week. These were mainly food or drink packaging. This represents 88% of all household waste that goes to landfill or incinerator. Only 12% is recycled.
According to Greenpeace, more than 60% of the plastic in the survey was either not collected at all or was not collected properly by local authorities.
The nonprofit’s report reads: “These figures paint a dire picture of plastic use and waste management systems in the UK.”
“It’s a turning point for plastics in Britain,” he continues. “More people than ever are aware of the scale of the problem and they want to see change.”
Greenpeace is now calling on the UK government to halve the production of single-use plastic by 2025 and set a goal of eliminating it almost entirely for good. Among other demands, he also asks the government to stop exporting its plastic waste problem abroad.
According to Basel Action Network, the UK exported 467,000 tonnes of plastic last year.
To encourage the government to take action, you can sign Greenpeace’s petition here.
Fishing and plastic pollution
It’s not just food and drink packaging that’s contributing to the plastic waste crisis.
In 2020, a WWF report found that at least 10% of marine litter comes from the fishing industry. Nearly 30% of all fishing lines are lost in the ocean each year.
These pose a huge threat to wildlife as they entangle and injure species as they continue to float in the water.
WWF chief executive Marco Lambertini said at the time: “While the consequences of plastic litter are finally starting to get the attention they deserve, there is still too little awareness of the catastrophic damage caused. by the phantom engines.”