Big Plastic Count 'will measure national scale' of Britain's waste problem

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Around 140,000 people across the UK are set to record how much plastic they throw away as part of an effort to measure the scale of the nation's waste problem.

Environmentalist Chris Packham, actress Bonnie Wright and dozens of MPs will also take part in The Big Plastic Count, in collaboration with Greenpeace UK and Everyday Plastic.

The data could fill a "crucial evidence gap" and encourage the government and supermarkets to do more to tackle the issue, Greenpeace said.

To take part, people will have to record the different types of plastic packaging they waste and submit results.

This snapshot will aim to paint a national picture of plastic waste.

Currently, the UK produces more plastic waste per person than any other country except the US, according to Greenpeace.

Packham, who presents BBC Springwatch, described the UK as "one of the worst plastic polluters in the world".

He said: "Our broken recycling system doesn't work, so instead of dealing with our plastic ourselves we send vast quantities of it overseas where it's out of sight and out of mind for us, but destroying nature and harming people everywhere."

Chris Thorne, plastic campaigner at Greenpeace UK, added the count will be "the biggest-ever investigation into the UK's plastic waste" and that they are delighted so many have signed up.

Results will be released as soon as they have been processed.

Campaigners hope the count will push government to reduce single use plastic by 50% by 2025, ban all plastic exports and implement a deposit return scheme for recycling and reuse.

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