Plastic-Free Day 2023

We would love you to join us by taking part in our annual plastic-free day, which is fast approaching on Friday, May the 5th – just before the 97th birthday of the legend that is Sir David Attenborough! Each year, we encourage schools, businesses and individuals to take part in a day that will hopefully kick-start some brilliant initiatives and behaviours when it comes to reducing our use of unnecessary plastic.

According to Statista, It is estimated that UK households still throw away an astonishing 100 billion pieces of plastic packaging every year, an average of 66 items per household per week. Many of these items are single-use food packaging, like crisp and snack bags as well as the trays that so much fruit and veg still come packaged in from supermarkets and other shops. In fact, in the UK we generated 2.5 million metric tons of single-use plastic packaging waste in 2021. That is an astonishing amount and sadly means that the UK is estimated to be the fifth largest producer of single-use plastic waste in the world, and individually we generate more plastic waste per person than any other country except the USA.

Unfortunately, recycling rates in the UK are still not fantastic, with only 44% of plastic packaging waste being recycled here in 2021. It’s worth bearing in mind that this percentage also includes plastic waste that was incinerated for energy reclamation and also the plastic waste that was ‘recycled’ by sending it abroad – the main country we export our recycling to is now Turkey. We believe this is a shameful practice, and a recent investigation by Greenpeace found plastic waste identified as packaging from some of the UK’s leading supermarket brands dumped, burned, piled into mountains and left to spill into rivers and the sea.

Global annual virgin plastic production (not recycled) is set to double by 2040 and increase to 1.1 billion tonnes in 2050. When more single-use plastics are produced, more end up in our ocean, choking and entangling marine life and leaching toxic chemicals.

We want to encourage positive change in our attitudes to looking for alternatives to single-use plastic packaging, and one way to get started is by encouraging everyone to take part in our plastic-free day. For schools, we have a suite of useful downloadable resources that can be used for lesson plans and activities. We also have lots of suggestions for how businesses can take part in the day. Simply fill out our form below with your details and we will be in touch.

One day to change perceptions and potential future behaviours – we think it’s worth a go and would love you to take part, spread the word and help to make a difference!

If you are having trouble viewing the registration form on this page, you should be able to view it here:

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