In the UK an average person produces 63kg of personal plastic waste per year. That’s 4 million tonnes across the UK. Globally 381 million tonnes are produced. That’s up 200 times since 1950 when globally there was only 2 million tonnes of plastic waste!
By 2025 plastic pollution is to increase 10 fold. If this carries on, by 2050 the weight of plastics in the ocean will be equivalent to the mass of all marine life.
The UK accounts for 1.3% of the problem, even though we are 0.8% of global population. Our management practices result in 43% of plastics being ‘recycled’ but the majority of this either eventually sent to landfill or burnt. It is estimated that 9% of plastic is actually re-used through recycling processes.
With plastic waste increasing year on year and the option for burning our waste fading as the climate crisis looms, is it up to us to lead the way. This is why Better Century has created this challenge.
The challenge is to keep your plastic waste to 32 kg per year, which is half the UK average. This means limiting your plastic packaging waste to 13kg (43% of the total). Putting that into perspective, that’s 550 two pint plastic milk bottles per person per year alongside a reduction waste from tyres, textiles and consumer products.
To give you a sense of you’re already producing packaging and a small amount of your consumer products use this simple calculator.
This challenge is about meeting that target, then to get your friends to do the same. We could start a ripple of change which could echo through society.
Let’s get on with it!
Step 1: Fill in the pledges below and if you think you are already achieving these targets then all the more reason to sign up to help inspire others!
Step 2: Write a short piece in response to this topic about what you’re going to do to fulfil your pledges and get others involved. This post needs to attract five likes.
Step 3: Get one other person to sign up to Better Century. This is easily done - just share this challenge by copying the link and putting into your social media feed. Ask your friends to fill in the ‘Why did you join Better Century’ box that they joined because of you and this challenge.
When you succeed in the challenge you will receive this badge in recognition which will proudly be shown on your Better Century profile, and will be acknowledged on this topic. We will also be awarding a series of other badges for those who’ve given ‘Product Support’, or have been a great ‘Plastic Waste Story Teller’; those who’ve shared their story far and wide.
In succeeding with this challenge we’ll send you a voucher from a partnership organisation or will make a donation to Plastic Oceans.
I pledge to undertake this challenging of by keeping my plastic waste to 32 kg a year through the following means:
Please answer five out of the eight following ways you will reduce plastic from packaging and consumer products
- Not buy water or fizzy drinks in single use plastic bottles
- Use a re-usable hot drink cup or refuse plastic lids on disposables ones provided
- Not use disposable plastic straws or cutlery
- Buy non packaged fruit and veg from supermarkets (or leave the packaging at the till) or get a veg box delivered
- Avoid single use plastic bags by carrying my own re-usable one
- Get plastic free soap through bars or other alternatives
- Get plastic free shampoo and conditioners bars or alternatives
- Refill household detergents through refill schemes
Please answer two out of the four following ways to reduce plastic from clothing and tyres
- Capture microfibres from synthetic clothing products in my washing machine
- Avoid purchase of non recycled synthetic clothing and shoe products
- Where possible ensure clothing I am disposing of is re-used
- When my family purchases tyres for the car I will push for longer lasting tyres to be bought (over 50,000 miles)
Please answer complete these pledges for Plastic Waste Challenge
- I will review what plastic waste I’m producing by using an online calculator or by assessing my plastic waste on an ongoing basis
- I will keep people up to date with my undertaking of these challenge by sharing the places where I can reduce my plastics and my ongoing frustrations
- I will help others in this challenge by giving them places they can find alternatives
- I will lobby organisations I purchase products from to encourage them to reduce the amount of plastic
- I will engage others outside of Better Century with this challenge
Background on challenge
Sources of personal plastic pollution are as follows:
|Personal Plastic Pollution||Across UK (Million Tonnes)||%||Per Person (KG)|
|Industrial or Construction||0.7||15%||10.68|
The rest of the plastic use is largely out of our control as it is used in construction, electronics and industrial machinery.
- WRAP Report Plasflow 2017
- 2019 House of Commons Report
- Our World in Data - Plastic Pollution
- Guardian July 2018 - UKs Plastic may be dumped overseas instead of being recycled
- Ecological impact of plastic waste
- Plastic oceans quick data
- Australian report on plastic pollution by source Items most found in the ocean