The Big Laundry Plastic Amnesty

Big laundry has failed our planet. 

Over 109 million packs of plastic laundry detergent are sold in the UK every year from supermarkets. 

That’s over ONE THOUSAND Big Laundry single-use plastic packs sold every 5 minutes of the day in the UK, or 3.5 packs every second going into our homes, ending up getting burnt, put in landfill or finding their way into our oceans.

This is NOT recycled plastic… the percent of recycled plastic used by the big brands is pitiful. It’s far cheaper for them to use brand new virgin plastic each time and continue to spew more and more out into a recycling system that isn’t recycling.

Why so slow?

Take Persil. On our shelves since 1909 but it wasn’t until 2020 that they ensured their plastic bottles were fully recyclable. 2020!!? And only recently have they used recycled plastic… just 50% though. 50% recycled plastic and 50% more brand new virgin plastic - each and every time they make a bottle.

Its parent company Unilever has committed to 25% recycled content in its packaging by 2025.

Be more smol.

say no to plastic gif

It’s not good enough. If a tiny independent company like smol can launch plastic-free laundry capsule packs within 2 years of launch and 100% recycled fabric conditioner bottles that are returnable for refill - why can’t Persil?

Unilever's CEO Alan Jope states “We can eliminate plastic waste by acting fast and taking radical action at all points in the plastic cycle”.

But how are they acting fast? Where is this radical action?

Meanwhile, our recycling system is broken with some studies finding only 10% of plastic is successfully recycled here in the UK.*  

So we’re calling a PLASTIC AMNESTY.

The Big Laundry Plastic Amnesty

If our recycling system can’t sort out the plastic shortfalls, and big laundry brands won’t step up to change their production, smol is coming to your street to make a difference.


It’s time to collect up your laundry plastic (and all your neighbour’s laundry plastic) and BRING IT OUT INTO THE STREETS!


Swap your empty laundry plastic packs for a free smol pack!

That’s right, we want your old laundry plastic, the same stuff that’s not getting recycled and we’re looking for 1000 plastic packs to turn into marvellous community park benches. 

Tell your friends, family, colleagues, neighbours that we’re coming to your town and we’re going to clear up Big Laundry plastic. We’re really going to need your help so between us we can make it effortless for your town to take action on Big Laundry single-use plastic waste. Let’s make wasteful, useful

Sign up to our plastic amnesty mailing list!

We want you to get involved. Get the latest plastic amnesty news to your inbox and help us spread the word.



We know we can do this with your help. Brighton Council has failed its residents, missing its recycling targets year on year. We know people have taken matters into their own hands and organised their own recycling collection points. We’re determined to come and help make a difference. 

So don’t forget to check out our amnesty site to make sure you don’t miss out on any updates and we look forward to catching up with you in Brighton. We can’t wait!

*Greenpeace 2022


Got questions? Check out our FAQ below!  

What's happening? smol will be in Brighton to swap your empty laundry packs for a free pack of smol laundry capsules!

Find us in Jubilee Square in Brighton City Center from 11-4pm. Chat with the smol team and see why smol things really do make a big difference. Address: 17 Jubilee St, Brighton BN1 1GE

Why are you doing this? We need help from Brighton’s residents to challenge the big brands to be more smol. Together, by collecting this wasteful single-use laundry plastic and turning it into useful park benches for the local area.

Who can get involved? Everyone can get involved in the area! Our existing smol customers and new people who are interested. We want to get the word out about smol to new audiences. We might not be able to get round to everyone who signs up, but we’ll be looking for convenient drop off points in the area. 

What is ‘Big Laundry’? Big laundry refers to the ‘big’ laundry brands, such as Persil, Bold and Surf. These brands are contributing huge amounts of plastic which isn’t getting recycled. Over 109 million plastic laundry packs were sold in UK supermarkets last year, that’s over 1000 every 5 minutes!

What is ‘laundry plastic’? We’re looking for all your laundry detergent tubs, capsule boxes and packs, and liquid bottles, and any plastic fabric conditioner bottles you (and your street!) has!

What are you going to do with the plastic? We’re looking to collect as much empty laundry plastic as possible to turn wasteful into useful.We’re turning this plastic into community park benches, so it doesn’t end up getting burnt, shipped overseas or in landfill, when we THINK it’s getting harmlessly recycled. We’re working with the local area to find out where these benches will be best placed, made from 100% recycled materials.

Can I bring non-laundry plastic? We're looking for laundry plastic for this event, so any boxes, packs and bottles that you use to clean your clothes made from single-use plastic. aka, you don't refill or repurpose.

Why sign up on the website? Sign up to our mailing list to be the first to get the latest news on all things plastic amnesty! You’ll get the updates straight to your inbox.

Who can sign up to the mailing list? Anyone can sign up to our mailing list to find out more - we’d love to tell you what we have planned, and of course we’d appreciate any sharing to people in the area who you think might be interested. If you’re from the Brighton area, then brilliant! Come get stuck in, tell your friends, family and.. Everyone you know! There’s a few ways you can get involved.

I don’t want another email, where else can I find the infomation? Stay tuned on our blog and social media pages! We’ll be giving weekly updates in the run up to the event. 

I want my business to get involved! Fantastic news - the more plastic donated, the better! If you work in an office, co-working space or even a small business in the area, we want you to spread the word to your colleagues and team to help collect this plastic. Interested in taking part? Drop us a message at

Why Brighton? Brighton council has missed its recycling targets year on year, and we know locals are so fed up they’re taking things into their own hands - collecting recycling themselves. We have lots of lovely customers in the area too! If we’re not coming to your area, don’t worry - this is just the start.

Will you come to my city? Maybe! We’re really excited you’re interested in getting involved in the amnesty, and we’d love to bring it across the country - so after Brighton, stay tuned. 

Why should I take part? If, like us, you’re bored of companies and councils blaming your friends and neighbours for not sorting their recycling properly, or if you’re sick of hearing the devastating effects of plastic that’s being burnt, shipped overseas or sent to landfill is having on our planet - this is for you.

PLUS If you like free laundry products that are great for you and better for the planet -  and know you can spread the word to get collecting - we’re thrilled to have you get involved.

What should I do with the plastic? Keep hold of it! We’re aiming to come to collect from as many people as possible - if we can, we’ll let you know in advance, or share a drop off point that’s available near you.

Do I need to rinse it? Plastic bottles of liquid should be rinsed if possible please but if any capsule tubs for example are clean there’s no need. 


What's going on? We’re popping up in the city centre at Jubilee Square,17 Jubilee St, Brighton BN1 1GE between 11-4pm to show just how much Big Laundry is affecting our planet. This is a non-ticketed event in a public space, so just pop by for a quick chat - no rsvp needed. 

What time will you be there? Between 11am and 4pm.

Why should I come down? Bring us your laundry plastic and meet the team! If you’re in the area and fancy popping you can swap your plastic for a FREE trial pack of smol laundry, all to communicate a really important message to challenge both recycling in the area and Big Laundry brands!

You mentioned free smol packs? Yes! We have 2000 to giveaway! Bring us some laundry plastic to swap for a smol pack, 1 per person.

I can't make it but have laundry plastic to give? Brilliant news, we’re so happy you want to be involved! Sign up to our mailing list, and we’ll update you on a few local drop off points so we can collect your plastic another time.

Can I bring my family? And pets? Of course! Jubilee Square is a public space right in the centre of Brighton and open to all the public throughout the day. We’ll just be popping up with a smol space over a few hours on Sunday.
IS THERE PARKING? The closest car park is JUST PARK - Jubilee St, Brighton BN1 1GE. Fees apply.

Is it accessible? Yes, the area is in an accessible public space.

Are there toilets? Yes, there are toilets inside the library and shopping centre nearby.

What happens if there's bad weather? The event is outside, but we'll be doing our best to stay covered in case of rain, and hoping for some sunshine!