We are inviting departments at the university to take part in this year’s Big Plastic Count, which is taking place between 11 and 15 March.

During this week households, schools, community groups and businesses will be counting their single use plastic waste to try and convince UK ministers to lead the way at the global talks that could finally phase out plastic pollution for good.

Almost a quarter of a million people took part in The Big Plastic Count in 2022, which revealed that almost two billion pieces of plastic packaging are being thrown away a week.

This year, we want to encourage departments to get involved, submit their data, and build even more evidence about the problem of plastic pollution.

How to take part

  • Print off your tally sheet here.
  • Place the printed sheet in a location that is easily accessible for everyone to use.
  • Keep tally marks small to ensure there is sufficient space for multiple entries.
  • Please remember to continue to use the correct bin for your plastic waste as the tally sheet maybe located next to the general waste bin. Dry mixed recycling for plastic bottles etc.
  • Plastic recycling is not easy due to the many different types, use this period to read the labelling on the plastic items you throw away to gain a better understanding. Ask questions at  sustainability@essex.ac.uk, if you require further information please visit our waste and recycling page.
  • Think about the waste you are throwing away to see if it could have been avoided, are there sustainable alternatives? I.e., reuse water bottle, paper bags instead of plastic, reuse fruit and vegetable bags, metal food tins instead of plastic pouches.

Once you have completed the tally remember to submit your results via the QR code on the bottom of the poster, and then send us a photo of your tally sheet.

We would love to collect as much data as we can from this week.