With many of us (hopefully) in the UK having ditched plastic bottled drinks and moved towards using refillable and reusable drinks bottles, here is a reminder of why…

1. In the UK, we use 7.7bn plastic bottles annually (Gov.uk)

2. The average UK household uses 480 plastic bottles a year (Refill, 2020)

3. 45% of household plastic packaging is from plastic bottles (Recoup UK Household Plastics Collection Survey 2020)

4. 37% of children in the UK mainly drink bottled rather than tap water (Refill, 2020)

5. It takes 162g of oil and seven litres of water to manufacture a single one litre disposable PET bottle. The process generates 100g of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) (Refill, 2020)

6. 41% of the plastic bottles we use are not placed in recycling (Recoup UK Household Plastics Collection Survey 2020)

7. 58% of plastic bottles found on British beaches and in rivers were 750ml or larger and risk being excluded from the Government’s proposed Deposit Return Scheme (Surfers Against Sewage, 2018)

8. Plastic bottles make up 10% of litter in the River Thames (Have You Got the Bottle? #OneLess Campaign)

9. On UK beaches there are 5000 pieces of plastic & 150 plastic bottles for each mile (Marine Conservation Society, 2016)

10. 90% of plastic is produced from feedstock obtained from fossil oil and gas (Plastic Atlas, 2019)

11. Less than a third of all plastic in the UK is recycled. (PlasticsEurope, 2020)

12. Globally, the production of virgin plastic has increased 200-fold since 1950 and has grown at a rate of 4% a year since 2000. (WWF, 2019)

13. We produce around 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year, almost equivalent to the weight of the entire human population (UN Environment report, 2018)

14. 100,000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million sea birds are killed by marine plastic pollution annually. (UK Government, 2018)

15. If current trends continue, our oceans could contain more plastic than fish by 2050 (UN Environment report, 2018)

16. A plastic bottle can take an average of 450 years to break down (WWF, 2021)

17. Plastic bottles (for example of water) have a use by date on them because the plastic itself expires and can begin to leach into the water over time, contaminating it with chemicals (Healthline, 2021)

18. 80% of people surveyed in the UK now use a reusable water bottle, at least sometimes, when outside the home. 44% of those have made the switch in the last two years (Water UK, 2021)

19. Only 44% of those surveyed admitted to feeling bad for the environment if they bought bottled water (YouGov survey for Keep Britain Tidy, 2018)

20. Roughly two-thirds of plastic waste in the UK is sent overseas to be recycled (BBC, 2019)

The potential to make a difference is huge. If just one in ten of us in the UK refilled once every week for a year, instead of buying a single plastic bottle each time, we’d reduce the number of plastic bottles in circulation by 340 million.

According to Water UK, 85% of the British public are worried about the impact of plastic pollution. Isn’t it time we collectively did something about it..?

The same goes for the UK Government. The introduction of the proposed Deposit Return Scheme for England, Wales and Northern Ireland has been delayed until at least 2024. Scotland is set to launch its own scheme in 2022.

As Laura Foster, Head of Clean Seas at the Marine Conservation Society, explains: “Politicians in England and Wales have been promising an introduction of Deposit Return Schemes for years and we are still waiting. Their own data shows an all inclusive scheme will save billions of pounds and we know it is incredibly popular. Most people are really confused why its taking so long to get a date set for its introduction.”

You can find us on Facebook by searching for Plastic Free Home or at http://www.facebook.com/plasticfreehomeuk.

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