Counting plastic waste – Leighton Buzzard and Dunstable MP adds his support for campaign

The campaign runs for a week from March 11
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South West Beds MP Andrew Selous is adding his support to a campaign targeting plastic waste.

Thousands of households and hundreds of teachers from across the East of England have committed to counting a week’s worth of their plastic waste as part of the UK’s largest waste survey starting next week.

The Big Plastic Count, organised by Greenpeace UK and Everyday Plastic, is a crucial national survey taking place from March 11 to 17 that presents a unique opportunity for residents across the region to gather vital evidence about the extent of the UK’s plastic problem. Participants are encouraged to sign up by March 11 to receive all the materials needed.

Andrew Selous, Conservative MP for South West Bedfordshire, meets children in the House of Commons. Credit: Greenpeace UKAndrew Selous, Conservative MP for South West Bedfordshire, meets children in the House of Commons. Credit: Greenpeace UK
Andrew Selous, Conservative MP for South West Bedfordshire, meets children in the House of Commons. Credit: Greenpeace UK

"The natural world can't cope with all our plastic rubbish. We've been calling for action on plastic for years, but the government hasn't listened. That's why this year, The Big Plastic Count is gathering even more evidence to push for plastic action in the UK and also globally, in a new UN Global Plastics Treaty focused on reducing plastic production," said Chris Packham, Wildlife TV Presenter & Conservationist.

Nationwide nearly 80,000 participants have already signed up for The Big Plastic Count 2024, including more than 10,000 school classes. The national plastic-counting campaign is open to individuals, households, schools, community groups and businesses.

"Counting your plastic is as easy as 1, 2, 3. It only takes about 5 minutes a day. The UK government still hasn't set a legally binding plastic reduction target so help us to gather the proof we need so UK politicians have no excuse not to act on plastic waste at home and overseas." said Laura Burley, Project Lead, The Big Plastic Count, Greenpeace UK.

Almost a quarter of a million people participated in The Big Plastic Count in 2022, revealing:

•UK households throw nearly two billion pieces of plastic packaging away weekly.

•Just 12% is recycled in the UK, with the rest being burned, shipped abroad, or languished in landfills.

•83% of plastic recorded was from food and drink packaging waste, the most common item being fruit and vegetable packaging.

“Having counted my plastic waste for an entire year, I know exactly how powerful this investigation can be in helping to understand the true extent of the plastic problem. Nearly 250,000 people took part in The Big Plastic Count in 2022, coming together to show that urgent change is not just what we need, but what we want. The Big Plastic Count is a simple yet impactful way to discover your household plastic footprint whilst contributing vital evidence to pressure our government to lead the way at the Global Plastics Treaty talks,” said Daniel Webb, Founder and Director, Everyday Plastic.

Greenpeace is now calling on the government to: reduce plastic production by at least 75% by 2040 and speed up the introduction of innovative reuse and refill models, completely ban all plastic waste exports by 2027 at the latest, immediately implement an all-in Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) requirements for recycling and reuse and end approvals for new incineration facilities.

Go to https://thebigplasticcount.com/sign-up to sign up for The Big Plastic Count 2024.