#DrasticOnPlastic Timer Challenge: Can you avoid single-use plastic for a day?

People across the UK are being urged to take the #DrasticOnPlastic Timer Challenge and find out how long they can go without using pointless plastic.
  Published:  07 Feb 2019    |      4 minute read

Single-use plastic is still too often an unavoidable part of our everyday lives, despite huge public concern over the impact of plastic on our wildlife, and moves to ditch items such as straws, bags and coffee cups.

The #DrasticOnPlastic Timer Challenge, which is organised by Friends of the Earth, will give people the chance to see how long they can go without encountering unwanted plastic – and shine a spotlight on just how much of our lives comes coated in plastic.

Taking part is simple. Start the timer on your phone and leave it running until you use your first bit of single-use plastic - such as plastic-wrapped food, plastic drinks container or bag. Then hit the stop button.

Register on the #DrasticOnPlastic web page: foe.uk/0702-timer-challenge (or via the Friends of the Earth web site) - and you’ll be sent a form where you can enter your time, as well as information on the plastic item that ended your challenge. This will help Friends of the Earth to build a picture of where action on alternatives is still needed.

The plastic challenge is part of Friends of the Earth’s new #DrasticOnPlastic campaign, which highlights the fact that action so far on single-use plastic is just the tip of the iceberg.

Friends of the Earth is calling on the public to back its campaign for new legislation to require tougher government action on single-use plastic and other sources of plastic pollution.

The Friends of the Earth website is also packed with tips and advice to help cut back on plastic: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/plastics

Friends of the Earth’s plastic-free campaigner Julian Kirby said:

“Lots of companies have made proud claims about reducing plastic - but just how easy is it to avoid plastic bags, cups, bottles and packaging in our everyday lives?

“Take the plastic challenge and find out how long you can go before you have to use an item of throw-away plastic.

“And by letting us know which bit of unwanted plastic ended your challenge, it will help us put pressure on retailers and manufacturers to reduce the waves of pointless plastic pollution that blights our environment and harms our wildlife.

“It’s time for the government to get drastic on plastic - and that’s why we need a new law to ensure tougher action to end the plastic pollution crisis.”

Take the #DrasticOnPlastic challenge

  1. Go to the #DrasticOnPlastic page on the Friends of the Earth website to register for the #DrasticOnPlastic Timer Challenge and get tips on avoiding plastic
  2. This doesn't have to be an exact science. We want to know how hard you find it to avoid unwanted plastics
  3. Hit the start timer button on your phone or watch to start (most people may choose to do this at the start of the day - but feel free to start anytime)
  4. Hit the stop button when you encounter unwanted plastic- such as clingfilm, coffee cups or sandwich wrappers - in your daily routine.
  5. Record your time on the website - along with details of the plastic you encountered.
  6. Challenge friends and colleagues via social media to take part too
  7. Sign Friends of the Earth’s petition calling for action on plastic pollution