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Getting acquainted with our plastic usage

The Big Plastic Count - monitoring our plastic usage in office and at home

Earlier this month the UK’s biggest plastic investigation took place.

Generally speaking, most people do their bit to recycle, but we can’t escape the fact that plastic waste is still EVERYWHERE. To put this into perspective, the numbers suggest the UK throws away an estimated 295 billion pieces of plastic each year.

In a bid to prove that something has to give, we stepped up and played our part in Everday Plastic’s initiative (in partnership with Greenpeace UK): ‘The Big Plastic Count’. The cause was founded on the basis of pushing the government, brands, and supermarkets to tackle the plastic crisis once and for all. 

With each and every one of us at Uprise Up sharing the common value of seeking to make the world better, whether that materialises as a more progressive, more inclusive, or greener world, the cause really spoke volumes to us and really didn’t take much convincing for us to sign up.

The team had their tally sheets handy to make a conscious effort to track their individual use throughout the week and as a result, we got very acquainted with our plastic footprint. Below we hear a couple of personal accounts of the team’s experience. 

How we got on

“I usually try to be fairly conscious about minimising the amount of plastic I use and actively recycling where possible. However, going through the physicality of counting every single individual piece of plastic I used in a week was revealing. Participating in the initiative has revealed I am definitely using more plastic than I would have thought.

I realise that as well as reducing my overall consumption I also need to distribute efforts to paying more attention to the type of plastic I’m using. A substantial 66% of my weekly use included soft plastic, which is more difficult to recycle in comparison to hard plastics. Tallying my individual use has also made me more conscious of my shopping habits and the type of brands and products I usually lean towards. It’s been invaluable reflecting on the bigger picture I’ve been made more aware of how I can make better choices in my day-to-day usage.”

Charlotte Agg, SEO Assistant

I was pleasantly surprised with my results. It turns out I actually use a lot less plastic than I originally thought. I think this is largely down to the companies I purchase my produce from and the recent changes to their packaging that has been introduced in recent years. 

Most of my plastic usage came from fruit and veg packaging or individual ‘snack-type’ packaging, I found that even if a punnet of fruit was cardboard it always seemed to have a thin plastic film lid! 

Although my takings from the count have been positive, on reflection I feel even more encouraged to cut this down further and make a concerted effort to avoid purchasing plastic heavy products. In reality, this will look like opting for loose fruit and veg produce and adjusting to snack items that can be bulk purchased and then separated into smaller portions in my own reusable tupperware. ” 

Brogan Carroll, Paid Media Analyst


Our group takeaways from participating look a little like this:

 Have a cause you really care about? Drop us a message, we’d love to talk it over with you. 


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