Plastic Waste Challenge

Project Summary

Plastic is in almost everything, from smartphone to coffee cups. We create too much of it and because of it's inability to break down in the environment easily, its by products become toxic. With ineffective ways that plastic is being recycled, there needs to be a change. Can you imagine a life that is free of single-use plastics?
This 2 week challenge will help you explore your own plastic consumption and help you identify where you can break up with single-use plastics.  

How to Complete

Download the spreadsheet tracker here.
Week 1:
Go about your normal routine and collect ALL the single use plastic that you use (bags, takeout containers, utensils, coffee cups, floss etc.)
End of Week 1:
Separate out your plastic into the different types BASED ON THE TYPE OF PLASTIC. The type of plastic can usually be found on the bottom of the plastic, and will have a number from 1-7 on it in a triangle, as seen below.
Fill out the excel sheet in the “Week 1” tab, in the column “Number of Items” entering how many of each item based on the type of plastic you had.

Week 2:
Substitute out your biggest 3 sources of plastic for a reusable solution (ie. swap out disposable coffee cups for a reusable mug during the week).
Continue to collect and track all your plastic waste from Week 2 as done in Week 1.

End of Week 2:
Same as Week 1. Separate plastic based on the TYPE OF PLASTIC (#1-7). Fill out the excel sheet in the “Week 2” tab in column “Number of Items”, entering how many of each item you had.
Need ideas on how to sub out your items? Check out Reimagine Co., a zero waste store here in London.
Or check out this website for inspiration.
Tip: If a lot of your plastic came from food packaging where there are very little other options, try buying in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging that you have.

Calculating Your Impact & Submitting

  1. Before starting your project, please fill out this registration form.
  2. Complete the project following the steps above, or the project guide (below).
  3. Input the number of items in each plastic category for Week 1 under the tab WEEK 1, in the category “Number of Items”.
  4. Input the number of items in each plastic category for Week 2 under the tab WEEK 2, in the category “Number of Items”.
  5. In the tab “Impact – TO SUBMIT” you will find 3 numbers outlining your GHG, water, and energy savings. Enter these 3 numbers in this submission form.
  6. In this form, you can find a place to upload your completed excel file as well (optional)
Thanks for completing the project! Stay tuned for cool prizes

Helpful Links & Resources

Learn more about the problems of plastic pollution
Learn more about the problem with plastic production
Learn more about challenges of disposing plastic
Learn more about what the plastics you use, and the specific issues with them
Check out this London store that provides zero waste solutions
Did you know it takes twice as much water to produce a plastic water bottle than is actually in the bottle?
There are estimates that there will be more plastic by weight than fish in the ocean by 2050 at our current consumption rate.
Plastic waste has been found in every corner of the world, even in the deepest part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench.

Project Guide Download
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