Data

Measuring how much plastic I dispose of posed a problem when comparing across different types. Some plastics are far denser than others. Because of this, I've used their weight as a uniform metric.

Tetra Paks and foil plastics are not included in the Plastic Footprint calculation. Tetra Paks have thin layers of aluminium and paperboard, and foils (such as chip packets) have layers of aluminium, making the plastic difficult to seperate.

 

Analysis

My household (of 2 adults, and 1 child) throws away more than 24 kg of plastic in a year.

 

It's a scary number, but some of this can be recycled. I live in Wellington, New Zealand and the local council accepts plastic types 1, 2, and 5 for recycling. Soft plastic recycling depends on demand and was not available at the time of collection.

 

If I assume all the 1, 2, and 5 plastic types are recycled (although not all of them will be), this still leaves 12 kg of plastic waste (not including Tetra Paks or foil plastics) destined for landfill. 

LESS THAN HALF MY PLASTIC WASTE IS RECYCLABLE

MY PLASTIC WASTE DIDN'T DECREASE OVER THE YEAR

 

Visuals

Not everyone likes graphs.

A graph is a common way of visually representing data, but not the only way. The My Plastic Footprint turtles not only give this data a physical presence, but introduce an emotive element through their representation of animals lost due to plastic pollution. 

As more turtles are created, more data visualisations will be.