Almost 100bn pieces of plastic packaging are thrown away by UK households every year, according to an investigation by Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic.
The Big Plastic Count’ involved 97,948 homes during one week in May. On average, each household threw away 66 plastic packaging items, amounting to 3,432 items a year.
The most common items were fruit and vegetable packaging, followed by snack bags, packets and wrappers – illustrating how difficult it is for shoppers to avoid packaging when purchasing these products. If these totals are typical, UK households are throwing away 1.85bn pieces a week, or 96.57bn pieces a year.
“Pretending we can sort this with recycling is just industry greenwash,” said Greenpeace UK plastics campaigner Chris Thorne. “The only solution is to turn off the plastic tap, through the government introducing a legally-binding target for a 50% reduction in single-use plastic by 2025.”