Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins gave his support to the Big Plastic Count campaign in June, which aimed to provide an unparalleled insight into the scale of the country’s plastic crisis.

One in every 262 UK households counted their plastic packaging waste for one week. The Big Plastic Count campaign saw 248,957 people from 97,948 households take part across the UK.

The results of the count revealed that, on average, each household threw away 66 pieces of plastic packaging in one week, which amounts to an estimated 3,432 pieces a year.

The Big Plastic Count investigation uncovered that UK households throw away almost 100 billion pieces of plastic every year, and they found that only 12% of it is actually recycled in the UK. They set out that the government ships it overseas where it’s often burned, dumped, or buried it in landfill.

Toby said “During the passage of last year’s Environment Act, Labour voted to require the Government to set a target to reduce waste, including plastics. Disappointingly, Conservative MPs voted this down. In 2019 Ministers also pledged to ban exports of plastic waste to developing countries and planned to hold a consultation before the end of 2022. The scale of the problem uncovered by the Big Plastic Count has shown that we need urgent action. It’s clear that we cannot keep shipping our problem away. People expect to see these exports banned, more recycling taking place at home and faster action on the climate crisis”.

He added “I support a deposit return scheme for drinks containers of all sizes and materials. After years of delay, the government now says it will be introduced in late 2024. I believe this needs to be done sooner and I’ll keep pushing Ministers to bring it in as soon as possible”.

To find out more, visit https://thebigplasticcount.com

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