My Plastic Footprint began in an attempt to understand my own plastic use (and plastic waste). In 2019, I kept and recorded every piece of plastic I would normally have thrown away. This project is my way of measuring and visualising a years worth of single use plastic.



Between the 1st of January and 31st of December 2019, all plastic waste from my household (of three people) was washed and put into storage ready for processing.

Household plastic stored in bags


There are many types of plastic, each classified by their unique chemical structure. Plastic types melt at varying temperatures, with some emitting harmful fumes in the process. Plastics are therefore sorted by type before recycling. 

Not all councils or recyclers accept all types of plastics. Types 3 to 7 are commonly rejected because they are harder to recycle into new products. This plastic waste would then end up in landfill.

Plastic types


My plastic waste was sorted by type, and the month it was used. Each group was weighed so amount comparisons could be made across different plastic types.


You can view more of the data here.

Plastic types graphed by usage


Every year, 6.4 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean, killing over 1 million marine animals. It was important for me to acknowledge this in the way I visualised my own amount of plastic waste. The My Plastic Footprint turtles represent just some of the animals lost due to plastic pollution. 

You can find out more about the turtles here.