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Household Plastic Waste Increases During Lockdown

02 September 2020

What is the Everyday Plastic Survey?

The Everyday Plastic survey is a unique campaign that gives the UK public the chance to understand global plastic wastage issues by participating in research activities and receiving comprehensive information about what they throw away and where it goes. 

Lockdown Survey Results

During the Covid-19 lockdown period, the organisation ran an interactive and proactive campaign in which 481 people (178 households) took part in – in an attempt to educate the UK public about the plastic problem. Participants were required to collect their plastic waste for a week and record what was used. The results were then analysed and produced into a report for all to see.

Household plastic waste saw an increase during lockdown

In summary, 128 pieces of plastic were thrown away per week, on average - which indicates roughly a 45% increase in plastic wastage from UK households during lockdown, compared to a previous average of 88 pieces of plastic per week, as found in a similar pre-lockdown report. 

The amount of plastic waste in each house also differed significantly, with the highest amount of plastic used and collected in a week by a single household at 734 pieces and the lowest being just 17 pieces of plastic. Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of the plastic (65%) was soft plastic that is rarely recycled in the UK.

Putting these statistics into perspective, the Everyday Plastic group scaled these numbers up and calculated that the 128 pieces of plastic would equate to 1.2 million pieces being thrown away by those same participants, if they generated the same weekly wastage for a year – and if all households in the UK threw away the estimated group average, this would equate to billions of pieces of plastic – per week. 

The global pandemic has opened our eyes to a variety of important global issues, and evidently, the importance of plastic recycling being no exception.
 


W&S Recycling specialises in the recycling of a wide range of plastics, from bottles to films and polystyrene (EPS). We even recycle hard rigid plastics and UPVC frames in Dorset, offering a collection service for plastic film and bottles locally. To learn more, get in touch by calling 01202 675564

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Locate your nearest household waste centre and scrap yard using the list below. Unsure of where your waste needs to go? Contact our team and we'll be more than happy to help. For your local council charges visit the Oxford Council and Dorset For You websites.

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