Used plastic bottles in large plastic recycling box.

A quarter of a million people took part in this year’s Big Plastic Count.

Organised by Greenpeace, the survey found that the average UK household throws away almost 3,500 pieces of plastic packaging a year.

That’s equivalent to 1.85 billion pieces of plastic a week or 96.6 billion pieces of plastic annually.

All but 12% of the waste collected for recycling is sent abroad, which means that the UK is exporting some 85 billion pieces of plastic every year. Of the waste that stays in this country, most is dumped or burned rather than recycled, says Greenpeace. A brief video about the Big Plastic Count findings is available on the Greenpeace website.