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Everyday Plastic and Greenpeace UK unveil nationwide OOH campaign tackling UK plastic consumption

By M4G Bureau - April 23, 2024

The campaign forms part of Ocean Outdoor’s annual Drops In the Ocean programme

Everyday Plastic and Greenpeace UK have launched a national out of home (OOH) campaign in the UK announcing the results of The Big Plastic Count 2024 which reveals that UK households discard an estimated 90 billion plastic items annually.

Everyday Plastic and Greenpeace UK unveil nationwide OOH campaign tackling UK plastic consumption

Just 17% of that waste is recycled domestically.

The campaign forms part of Ocean Outdoor’s annual Drops In the Ocean programme which awards advertising space to environmental causes and organisations fighting climate change.

Timed to coincide with The Global Plastics Treaty talks (23 – 29 April) and Earth Day (22 April), the OOH campaign is running for seven days across 10 Ocean locations in Birmingham, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, and Nottingham.

The creative combines the survey results with a call to action for the public to email their MPs asking for a cut in plastic production. The work is created by the design and production studio Friends of Mine Studio. 

Alongside the OOH campaign, Greenpeace UK has partnered with Enviral to develop the creative narrative for a video announcing the results of The Big Plastic Count 2024. 

Daniel Webb, founder and director of Everyday Plastic, said : “Reaching millions of people through a dedicated OOH campaign presents perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a small organisation like ours – we’ll grab it with both hands to help everyday people across the UK find a way to connect to the plastic problem and feel empowered  them to take action against it.”

Laura Burley, project lead for The Big Plastic Count at Greenpeace UK, said: “Collaborating with Enviral has been an incredible journey in amplifying our message on plastic waste. As we launch our latest video and nationwide outdoor advertising campaign, we're thrilled to join forces with creative agencies to inspire action and ignite change. Together, we're driving awareness and empowering individuals to combat the plastic crisis for a healthier planet."

Each year, Ocean donates 2% of the UK’s reported revenue in screen value to organisations associated with sustainability and the preservation of the planet for current and future generations. Everyday Plastic is one of six causes awarded screen space this year.

Everyday Plastic and Greenpeace UK unveil nationwide OOH campaign tackling UK plastic consumption

Ocean UK director of marketing Marie Le Hur said: “Drops in the Ocean helps all of our beneficiaries engage with audiences they don’t normally reach. Everyday Plastic is tackling a critical issue. Our mission is to help get as many people on board as we can.”

The Big Plastic Count results

Running from 11-17 March this year, The Big Plastic Count saw participation from nearly 225,000 individuals, more than 77,000 households and numerous community groups and businesses across the UK. 28,000 pupils from more than 5,000 school classes also participated, demonstrating the desire for change amongst young people.

Counts were submitted across all 650 parliamentary constituencies. Fifty MPs across all parties, including ministers and shadow ministers, also took part. 

The Big Plastic Count 2024 revealed:

  • UK households throw away an estimated 1.7 billion pieces of plastic weekly (60 pieces per household per week), equivalent to 90 billion a year. 1.7 billion pieces of plastic would take one person 53 years and 7 months to count at one second per piece. 
  • Snack packaging (699,932 pieces) and fruit and veg packaging (697,085 pieces) emerged as the most commonly counted plastic items.
  • Over half (58%) of the pieces of plastic packaging thrown away are being incinerated – up 12% from 46% in 2022.
  • 17% was recycled in the UK, followed by waste exports (14%) and landfill (11%).

In response to the figures, Greenpeace UK and Everyday Plastic have issued a call to action for the government to:

  • Show leadership at the Global Plastics Treaty negotiations by calling for a legally binding global target to cut plastic production by at least 75% by 2040.
  • Speed up the introduction of innovative reuse and refill models.
  • Completely ban all plastic waste exports by 2027 at the latest.
  • Immediately implement an all-in Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) requirements for recycling and reuse.
  • End approvals for new incineration facilities. 
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