Schools, households, community groups and businesses up and down the country counted their plastic waste for a whole week in March.

Together, we uncovered that UK households are throwing away 1.7 billion pieces of plastic – every week!


Watch our video


Image of resources available to help put on an Unwrapped event

To celebrate completing The Big Plastic Count, we are encouraging participants to host a results event, Unwrapped, from 19 April. as an opportunity to come together, discuss the results and consider further actions.

Download the community guide, or head over to our Unwrapped page to find out more and check out all the resources.



How do you work out my footprint?

Once we have a school or household’s count results, we apply national data on different types of plastic to calculate how much, on average, would be collected for recycling, what’s then likely to happen to it, and what that means for your footprint.

What is the Global Plastics Treaty?

Right now, world leaders are negotiating The Global Plastics Treaty; an international legal agreement to prevent the harmful impacts of plastic. This United Nations Treaty is a once-in-a-generation chance to protect our planet from plastic pollution. The UK Government needs to push for this Treaty to be as strong and ambitious as possible.

What if we use a lot of plastic?

Please remember, this isn't about feeling guilty about the amount of plastic you use! Too much single-use plastic is produced and there aren't reusable alternatives that suit everyone's needs. Together we’re gathering the evidence needed to push for proper action on plastic.

Read all our FAQs


Partners & Supporters

University of Portsmouthlogo Surfers Against Sewage Kids against Plastic logo Tearfund logo
Common Seas logo SOS-UK logo MofEE logo DofE logo
Green Schools Project logo Let's Go Zero logo British Science Week YTPE logo
Friends of the Earth Scotland logo Transform our World logo UKWIN logo Eco Schools logo Reloop logo
Find out more


The Big Plastic Count highlights the national and world plastic problem, inspiring schools to take decisive action using their fantastic resources to embed into the children's learning. It has taught every child and adult at our school that however big or small everyone can do their bit to make an impact on our world. This is why we will be taking part again in The Big Plastic Count!

Primary teacher Edd Moore

Edd Moore

Damers First School

The Big Plastic Count 2022 was the start of a very exciting journey for our school! We can’t wait to refuel our participation in such a great cause by taking part in March 2024, with a fresh new cohort of new, more environmentally aware modern minds.

Primary teacher Rebecca Razzaque

Rebecca Razzaque

Kenmore Park Junior School

Our year 8 class really enjoyed The Big Plastic Count. There is something quite powerful about having to count your week’s plastic waste and consider what happens to it next. A well set up campaign that is easy to run and fits in well with our lessons. We will definitely take part again.

Primary teacher Bernadette Wiley

Bernadette Wiley

Cleeve School

Having counted my plastic waste for an entire year, I know how powerful this investigation can be in helping to understand the true extent of the plastic problem. The Big Plastic Count is a simple yet impactful way to discover your household plastic footprint, whilst contributing vital evidence to push the government for long overdue change.

Everyday Plastic Founder Daniel Webb

Daniel Webb

Founder Everyday Plastic

Consequences of the plastic crisis are disproportionately felt by poorer communities and communities of colour. We must bring an end to this injustice. Let’s push the government to take ambitious action on plastic – join The Big Plastic Count now!

Greenpeace Campaigner, Maja Darlington

Maja Darlington

Greenpeace Campaigner

It’s ridiculous that we’re still swamped with plastic waste when it makes so many of us furious. The natural world can’t cope with it, and we need to find out what’s really happening to plastic that’s supposedly recycled. That’s why I’ll be joining The Big Plastic Count – let’s do this!

Wildlife TV presenter & conservationist Chris Packham

Chris Packham

Wildlife TV presenter & conservationist

Everything on Planet Earth is connected so if we don’t drastically lower or eradicate our use of single-use plastics they will pollute the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe. I am getting involved in The Big Plastic Count because I know as individuals we can make a difference and I want to be part of the change I long to see.

Actor and director Bonnie Wright

Bonnie Wright

Actor and Director

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