Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic are challenging consumers to count the amount of plastic waste they generate for one week.

The survey will include 151,000 households, 96 MPs and 4,180 classrooms, with the count taking place between 16-22 May. Participants will tot up the number of plastic packaging items they throw away over the course of seven days as part of a national survey – The Big Plastic Count – which aims to quantify our collective waste consumption.

Each household or school will receive an information pack explaining the 19 categories of plastic and how to correctly count what they use.

The data will be collected by Greenpeace and Everyday Plastic for analysis, who hope the count will offer important insight into how much plastic waste UK households are accountable for – currently only surpassed by the US, according to research published in Science Advances – and lead to ‘radical action by Government and supermarkets … to reduce how much plastic is produced and to improve recycling rates’.

According to Greenpeace plastics campaigner, Chris Thorne, who spoke to the BBC, it’s the ‘biggest ever investigation’ of its kind. “Millions of us do our part to recycle but we don’t really know where our plastic waste ends up.”