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Plastic packaging disposal tops 100 billion pieces a year in the UK

Graham Watson

13th July 2022

Greenpeace has released new survey evidence revealing that UK households only recycle a mere 12% of their single-use plastics.

Their research in association with advertising agency Enviral suggests that "97,948 households across the UK counted 6,437,813 pieces of plastic packaging waste. On average, each household threw away 66 pieces of plastic packaging in one week, which amounts to an estimated 3,432 pieces when applied over a year.

12% of our plastic waste is recycled, with 17% exported abroad, 25% sent to landfills and 46% incinerated.

It's a staggering amount... to what extent can specific government interventions such as charges for plastic bags and other containers and behavioural nudges make a sizeable difference? How strong is the case for a ban on all plastic exports from the UK?

More here in the Guardian and this article from Jonah Fisher on the BBC website

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to tutor2u, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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