The Big Plastic Count

Plastic waste: what can we do? By Hilary Patrick

Voice for Arran readers will, I am sure, share my concern about the amount of plastic waste we generate. Many like me will try to buy loose fruit and vegetables, or you might now be visiting the Ecosavvy Zero Waste Cafes.

Arran Think About Plastic group is also doing great work. Their website shows businesses and community groups which have signed up with them and are taking action to reduce their reliance on single use plastic.

At national level, in a first for the UK, the Scottish government’s deposit return scheme for single use bottles will go live in summer 2023. From this summer reverse vending machines are being installed throughout the country. People can return single use bottles and get their deposit back.

Meanwhile, we can get involved (either as households or in our school or community group), in the Big Plastic Count, which is helping gather the evidence to push for proper action to tackle the plastic crisis.

The Big Plastic Count is organised by Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic. Everyday Plastic’s founder, Daniel Webb, collected every piece of his plastic waste for a year! Working with a scientific researcher, he developed a unique methodology to calculate his personal plastic footprint.

We can do the same during the week of 16-22 May. How much plastic are we really having to throw away, and what happens to it? At the end of the week we will find out our plastic footprint and what has happened to the plastic we have thrown away. How much will be recycled? Where has it gone? (The export of our waste is a massive problem.)

And based on the evidence collected nationally, the organisers of the Big Plastic Count will put pressure on government, the big brands and the supermarkets to do something about the plastic crisis.

I do hope some Voice for Arran readers will join me in signing up!


Arran’s MP Patricia Gibson has signed up. She writes:

I am joining in the Big Plastic Count which is the biggest investigation into household plastic waste taking place from 16th-22nd May. This is an opportunity for new evidence to be gathered into just how much plastic we throw away which can provide new impetus for action to tackle the problem of plastic waste. Click the link to sign up today