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Facts About Plastics

In the UK we produce and use 20 times more plastic today than we did 50 years ago. Packaging is the largest single sector for plastic use, accounting for almost 36%. Plastics are quite handy, as they are lightweight and versatile, good at resisting chemicals and heat, and are safe and hygienic for food. Unfortunately, they can also do damage to the environment.

Funky Facts

* One tonnes of plastics is the equivalent to 120,000 carrier bags (Source: Linpac 2001)

* Plastics make up about 7% of the average household dustbin.

* Annually, 3 million tonnes of plastic waste is generated within the UK.

* A number of UK retailers have introduced degradable plastic bags. Some have also introduced 'A bag for Life' to encourage reuse.

* In Ireland, a tax has been put on plastic bags.

* It takes 25 two litre plastic bottles to make one fleece garment. (Source: www.wasteonline.org.uk

* An estimated 17 and a half billion plastic bags are given away by supermarkets every year. This is an equivalent of over 290 bags for every person in the UK.

General Tips

* Buy products that are refillable

* Buy products loose. i.e. melons, bananas and grapefruit have their own natural packaging - so save using that plastic bag.

* Buy goods that are made from recycled plastic, or are recyclable.

Useful Links

Linpac Plastic Recycling


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