The calculator, launching on Friday 24 January, can be found on our dedicated Plastic Footprint microsite. Calculations are based on an individual’s use of the top plastic pollutants threatening the freshwater environment, such as food and beverage containers and cigarette packaging. These pollutants can be categorised as ‘on-the-go’ plastics, as they are commonly disposed of incorrectly for convenience out of the home.
The calculator provides users with a breakdown of their on-the-go plastic footprint in kilograms and identifies their most frequently used plastic items. It also provides evidence-based recommendations for alternative lifestyle choices that will create a more positive environmental impact. Users can re-enter information over time and compare changes in their lifestyle to previous results.
By providing a percentage breakdown of each type of plastic, the new calculator aims to raise awareness of the current environmental crisis, whilst also providing realistic solutions to try to stem the flow of plastic waste.
Steve Andrews, CEO of Earthwatch Europe, said: “Many people are aware that plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental threats we face, but need more support to identify the best ways that they can make a difference. This new calculator will provide everyone with a key learning tool to assess their current contribution to plastic waste and identify ways to take simple action to reduce it.”
Dilyana Mihaylova, Partnerships Manager at Plastic Oceans UK, said “The fact that the plastic wrapper from your on-the-go lunch can end up in the ocean is still mind-blowing for most of us. This plastic footprint calculator provides a great first step in grappling with the role our daily choices play in the complex plastic pollution problem. Let’s use this to have an open conversation about what it means to make plastic intelligent decisions not only as individuals but also as a society.”
The on-the-go plastic footprint calculator forms part of an exciting new year-long partnership between Earthwatch Europe and SC Johnson, enabling members of the public to take positive action against pollution.
It is also part of the latest phase of Earthwatch’s Plastic Rivers project, which previously identified the top ten freshwater plastic pollutants in association with Plastic Oceans UK. Much of the plastics focus to date has been on the shocking impact pollution is having on ocean species. Plastic Rivers aims to raise awareness of the fact that up to 80% of ocean plastic actually comes from rivers, and that changes we make to our own consumption of plastic will have an impact on marine environments.