Plastic is fantastic! It's helped us to develop all sorts of new technologies and provided all sorts of benefits to our societies. But using it for single-use items, like food containers, has created a huge global problem. Plastics are not compostable, they don't break down in our environment into something useable by our soils and water sediments, they just get smaller and smaller. Even this process can take hundreds of years, meaning we are drowning in ugly and toxic waste. When plastics do get smaller, the problem doesn't go away, instead, they get into our food, water, and even air, causing health issues as we unknowingly ingest unhealthy chemicals. All those plastics we have been throwing away, are coming back to haunt us, and until we have curbed our insatiable plastic habit, more will just keep piling and piling up.
Here at Earthwatch, we have been working hard on what we can do to better understand and solve the plastic crisis. We created our plastic rivers project to look at the issue and launched our first plastics report last year (which you can read here). Since then, we have continued researching the problem in our science team and looking at new ideas. We wanted a way for people to get involved and take immediate action in their own homes, and so we created the plastic footprint calculator.
The plastic footprint calculator lets you see where you are using the most plastics and think about what you could do to reduce your use or switch to alternatives. You can assess your footprint here, and why not also sign our plastics pledge, to keep you on track with your plastic use goals. Slowing your usage may seem like a small step, but the more we can all pitch in to help solve global issues, the faster we will reach solutions. Join the sustainable mindset, and think about how you can make a difference in your life, and for our world.