In 2016, Daniel Webb saw the amount of plastic that washed up on Margate beach after a storm. Having never given much thought to plastic, it inspired him to look at the role it played in his own life. That led to an intriguing experiment. Starting on New Year’s day in 2017, he kept every single piece of plastic that he acquired as he bought what he needed and went about his life and work. It all went into black bags in the spare room – 22 of them in total.
On January 1st the following year, he stopped collecting and sorted it and catalogued it all. The 4,490 plastic objects included 207 bottles and 639 trays, pots and lids. 90% of the volume was packaging. He then analysed how much of it was recyclable, and how much energy would have been required to make it all. It’s a comprehensive deep-dive into an individual’s plastic footprint, and how pervasive plastic has become.
Daniel has since developed a smaller scale version of his experiment called the Everyday Plastic Survey. It launches in 2020, inviting people to understand just how much plastic they get through, and empower them to reduce it. Here’s the video introduction, and all the details on the website.