What’s Your Plastic Footprint?

Photo: USFWS - albatross chicks in plastic debris
Photo: USFWS – albatross chicks in plastic debris

Okay, okay, so this was a bit depressing. Assuming here at Unplastic we’re slightly more woke than others, this Plastic Footprint Calculator from Greenpeace shows just how far we have to go.

It’d be all too easy to give up and accept the plastic mountain looming in front of our eyes. Or we could look at this differently. The planet’s in a mess because we’re all using too many petroleum products and have been for years. Some of us have a plastic footprint the size of a yeti’s, some Tinkerbell’s. But, no matter how woeful your starting point, if we all reduce then it can only get better.

Curbing your plastic waste by a mere one bottle actually does make a difference to the turtle or albatross that could be weighed down by it. It’s not like invisible CO2 where we can pretend our contribution makes no odds. We see litter in the streets, we see it in the sea, we see it in country meadows. For every single piece of plastic that we dispose of properly (or don’t buy in the first place), that’s one less item on the mountain. Or one less six-pack ring around the albatross’ neck. And that does make a difference.

Cotton Buds


Following Scotland’s plan to ban plastic cotton buds, our friends at Cotton Bud Project suggest alternatives from Johnson’s, Boots, The Body Shop and most supermarkets. Either way, if you don’t want to add to the fatbergs, bin ’em don’t flush ’em.