Why plastic isn't fantastic
The United Kingdom is the second largest producer of plastic waste per person in the world.
Nearly 70% of this plastic waste is packaging, with over 2 million tonnes of plastic packaging used each year. Recently, Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic initiated the ‘The Big Plastic Count’ – UK’s largest ever plastic waste survey to shed light on the broken recycling system and to try to call for government action.
This campaign encouraged individuals and households across the UK to count their plastic packaging waste, record the different types they throw away and enter in their results.
The survey found that on average, each household threw away 66 pieces of plastic packaging in one week, which amounts to an estimated 3,432 pieces a year.
The results revealed that recycling, incineration and landfill are inadequate, and are not the right answers to the ongoing plastic crisis. This is due to many factors, and the obvious one is the amount of plastic that is not actually being recycled (and often shipped out of the country to make it someone else's problem).
The small amount of plastic that is being recycled, degrades during the process as it is made from low-quality plastic and is unable to be remade into packaging, therefore the recycling process is not infinite nor sustainable.
Then there are the harmful effects of incineration on local communities. Burning plastic releases a variety of toxic gasses into the air, some of which act as carcinogens which are not safe for the people who live or work in these areas.
Plastics that end up in landfill are subject to solar radiation, which causes the most commonly used plastics to release methane and ethylene into the atmosphere, not to mention the wind and rain which also carries micro-plastics into the surrounding atmospheres.
It also becomes a matter of social justice - as landfills and incineration are typically located in lower socioeconomic areas, causing harm to the local communities.
We need new solutions and systems to sort our packaging waste, and we believe that it starts with collaboration. Decent’s plant-based packaging can integrate into the organic waste system and be utilised as compost for the next generation of plants and green energy to power our homes.
We've compiled a list of compost waste collection companies across the country, to ensure that we are offering a zero-waste solution that is easy to implement in your business. Our bagasse range is also home compostable, so by choosing to use decent packaging you are doing your part in decreasing these national plastic waste figures.
Here are a list of compost waste collectors below:
- First Mile - London & Birmingham
- Forge - North England
- Zap Waste - Bristol
- Bywaters - London
- Paper Round - London & Brighton
- Grundon - SE England
- Select Environmental Services - Thames Valley, OX, SL & RG postcodes
- Countrystyle Recycling (Heathcote Holdings) - Cambridgeshire
- EnVar (Heathcote holdings) - Cambridgeshire
- Severn Trent Green Power - Derby facility
- Maltings Organic - North England
You can read the The Big Plastic Count full report here.