Thousands sign up to count plastic waste for a week

Thousands sign up to count plastic waste for a week

From BBC

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Thousands of people will count their plastic waste for a week in a national survey of how much we consume.

The count, put together by the organisation Everyday Plastic and Greenpeace, starts on Monday.

Only the US uses more plastic per person per year than the UK, research suggests.

Campaigners say the count will shed a unique light on how households consume the environmentally damaging material.

Huge amounts of energy and fossil fuels are needed to make new plastic, and it sticks around in our environment for a long time. It is also only possible to recycle plastic two or three times before it becomes too degraded.

Microplastics have been found everywhere from human blood to Arctic snow.

Around 151,000 households, 96 MPs, and 4,180 classrooms will be tallying up each piece of plastic they use from 16-22 May.

Government figures suggest that UK households recycled 44% of their waste in 2020.

But some plastics put in recycling bins goes to landfill or incinerators, or is even sent abroad where it can be dumped instead. In 2020 BBC News uncovered mountains of plastic waste sent from the UK to Turkey.

“This count is the UK’s biggest ever investigation of plastics. Millions of us do our part to recycle but we don’t really know where our plastic waste ends up,” Greenpeace plastics campaigner Chris Thorne told BBC News.

Everyday Plastic founder Daniel Webb counted his plastic for a year in 2017, filling 40 bin bags with waste.

“This experience changed my life and changed

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