Along with Everyday Plastic, and celebrities including Chris Packham, this citizen science project is shining a light on the true scale of the plastic crisis. The data collected will also uncover how much plastic we throw away and where it really ends up once it leaves our homes. Unfortunately, rather than being recycled, plastic waste often ends up burnt or dumped elsewhere for other countries such as Turkey to deal with.
The UK produces more plastic waste per person than almost any other country in the world – only the US is worse. And if things carry on as they are, the amount of plastic produced around the world is set to double by 2040. The world must produce less, and provide reusable alternatives that are affordable, accessible, and appropriate for everyone. Players are funding Greenpeace to call on the government, supermarkets, and other businesses to make it easier for us to reuse or avoid plastic.
‘More plastic packaging gets sent overseas than gets recycled in the UK. This unfairly shifts our problem on to other people in countries to the detriment of their health and environment. We must put an end to this plastic waste colonialism’ - Maja Darlington, Greenpeace Campaigner.
What are the solutions?
Greenpeace exists to ensure a green and peaceful future, and demands solutions to environmental problems like climate change, biodiversity loss and plastic pollution. To tackle the plastic pollution problem they are calling for:
- Targets to reduce the UK’s single-use plastic by 50% by 2025.
- Reusable alternatives to be universally designed to work for everyone's needs (and for decisions about items being eliminated to be informed by the disabled community).
- A ban on plastic waste exports by no later than 2025.
- Support for better re-use and reduction, for example implementation of an all-in Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for items such as drinks bottles and cans which are returned for reuse in exchange for a small fee.
With players' support Greenpeace is working with governments, corporations, and other charities to call for plastic reduction targets and a transition to reusables which cater to all needs. Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have also helped fund the creation of this handy guide Living with Less Plastic, produced in partnership with City to Sea.
We can all play our part but this problem is bigger than the consumer, action is required globally at the corporate and government level.