44% of all plastic packaging in the UK is plastic film

44% of all plastic packaging in the UK is plastic film, which includes cling film, plastic bags, bubble wrap and plastic pouches (the ones around your veggies in the supermarket).

44 per cent!

That is 1.2 billion kilos worth of plastic which is (mostly) non recyclable. The collection of plastic bags, pouches and bubble wrap is mainly organized by supermarkets as barely any councils provide curbside collection for this type of plastic. Cling film, salad bags and food and drink pouches are not recyclable in the UK and will end up in landfill.

Photography Credit: Pressmaster

Wrap has researched that 2/3rds of this plastic film is household waste. The other third come from industrial, agricultural and commercial sources, which I find hard to believe. I used to work at a picking and packing center for a large Dutch supermarket chain and the amount of cling film used around their containers was just extreme. I bet I wouldn't even have used in a year what they wrap around one container (and I would send off about 15-20 containers per working day). Maybe that supermarket was just really really bad with their packaging?

Anyway, we haven't used cling film in over two years and I couldn't imagine going back. We do however have a LOT of reusable shit lying around because we've been trying out so many different types of products that can replace it. A lot of them didn't work for us (silicone stretchy food covers and I'm barely using our beeswax wraps), but some are fantastic: I love our food huggers and I swear by Tupperware containers.