Plastics policy in the UK needs clarity and reform


Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic publish results from voluntary plastic waste audit of nearly 100,000 UK homes; finds UK households throw away nearly 100 billion pieces of plastic a year, 83% of which is from food and drinks; waste organizations within the country ask for stronger policies and more clarity on existing goals.

On July 13, 2022, Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic, published results from The Big Plastic Count, a national voluntary plastic waste audit of nearly 100,000 UK homes. They found “on average, each household threw away 66 pieces of plastic packaging in one week… [and] if the totals for count week are assumed to be typical, this indicates that UK households are throwing away an estimated 1.85 billion pieces a week, or 96.57 billion pieces a year.” Food and drink packaging made up 83% of the 66 pieces with produce packaging and snack wrappers being the two most common items.

Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic asked the UK government to (i) set a target “to almost entirely eliminate single-use plastic in 15 years” with mandates for corporate plastic reporting and an interim target of 50% reduction by 2025; (ii) ban plastic waste exports; (iii) implement deposit return schemes and extended producer responsibility schemes (EPR) for drinks containers that are consistent across the UK; and (iv) “set an immediate moratorium on new incineration capacity.”

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Food Packaging Forum, 2-08-22