Everyday Plastic: what we throw away and where it goes is a seminal report that for the first time, explores one individual’s impact on the plastic problem.
Its aims are simple: To present real time and authentic statistics in a straightforward way To encourage a greater understanding amongst everyday people by establishing a personal connection with the plastic problem.
So far, Everyday Plastic has been entirely self-funded and self-operated. It's taken two amazing years of hard work to get it to this point, and now I’m looking to shift it up a gear. This is where you come in.
This Kickstarter campaign will raise funds to continue our project that encourages action and raises awareness. It will fund further research, develop our educational programmes and as I establish the Everyday Plastic charity in 2019, it will cover the costs of setup, admin, labour, production and more.
Shortly after moving to Margate on the Kent coast in 2016, I quickly learned that I wasn’t provided with a recycling service at my flat or the local waste management centre. I found myself wondering how I could avoid buying plastic or how I could dispose of it responsibly. Along with the copious items of plastic I was seeing on the beach and on the streets, I started to question my own individual impact on the plastic waste system.
To understand it further, I decided that for the next 12 months, starting 1 January 2017, I would not throw away any plastic waste I produced.
I met earth scientist Dr Julie Schneider on Facebook in the very early days of Everyday Plastic when I was looking for a researcher. Dr Julie researched publicly available data to develop formulae to calculate what my personal impact is on the plastic problem. The results of which you can read in the report.
This experiment has been both enlightening and frightening, and now I want to share the results with you.
What’s in the report?
Motivated by the plastic problem, I wanted to dig deeper into our somewhat murky national recycling figures. I launched a personal investigation to understand exactly what I throw away and where it ends up. If my consumption is average, then what does that mean for the UK?
We’ve ensured that each stat and fact is accessible and evocative, and is backed up by publicly available data. I can tell you that I threw away 4,490 pieces of plastic in a year, of which 67% is food packaging!
Infographics and Imagery
The statistics are brought to life by powerful infographics and illustrations. Designed by eco agency Leap, the report is purposefully visual to appeal to anyone from school pupils to investment bankers.
Collecting my plastic waste for a year certainly says a lot about me, but it also says a lot about us. It’s amazing how your mindset can change over the course of a year and this hugely personal and exploratory journey has revealed some hard truths...
Everyday Plastic has received worldwide media coverage - from Belgium to Brazil, Italy to Indonesia, and the UK to the US. UK press coverage includes:
After more than 5,000 downloads from the website, I felt like it was the right time to print physical editions of the report. This 56-page A5 book is printed on 100% recycled paper. You can read the report online here.
This special A1 poster brings the report to life on and is printed on 100% recycled paper. This is a really cool visual snapshot of all the key stats from the report, and is perfect for your classroom, workplace or home.
Working with Teemill – a fully sustainable clothing production company that works with the likes of Warchild and Marine Conservation Society – we’re also offering an exclusive-to-Kickstarter t-shirt. The design by Andy Aitken is made entirely from the silhouettes of plastic pieces that I threw away, and is available in black or white.
The postcard book features the Everyday Plastic mural across 5 x A6 postcards in a concertina style and encased within a sleeve. It is made from 100% recycled paper.
We are also offering group packs of 10 or 20 reports, plus posters, for schools or businesses with a saving of up to £90.
Finally, you can make a donation to Everyday Plastic from £10 or upwards.
Each reward will be produced as sustainably and responsibly as possible. See the 'Plastic-free products and packaging' section below for more details.
Who we are
Everyday Plastic is an education project that communicates the realities of our plastic consumption in a personal and relatable way. Daniel Webb (that's me 👋🏻) collected every piece of plastic he used in 2017. Having counted, categorised, weighed and photographed the whole collection of plastic waste, he turned it into a large-scale billboard, shown at Dreamland, Margate in early 2018. A report based on the findings from analysing the collection was released in October 2018.
Founder and report co-author, Daniel Webb, has worked in marketing for 10 years. He has had an active interest in conservation since 2015, which led him to launch Everyday Plastic in 2017.
Report co-author, Dr Julie Schneider, has a PhD in earth sciences with a speciality in geochemistry. She was a lecturer and researcher at the Université Nice-Sophia Antipolis in France for eight years. She works with CHEM Trust – a charity that works to prevent man-made chemicals from causing long term damage to wildlife and humans.
The key reason is so that we can produce to order, therefore leaving us with no waste stock. Kickstarter also allows a short timeframe in which to pledge, again helping us to manage orders.
What will your contribution support?
Everyday Plastic has changed my life.
When I saved that first piece of plastic on 1 January 2017, I never imagined it would become part of an enormous artwork. Or that it would feed into a major piece of research about our plastic consumption. I never imagined that it would go on to receive media coverage around the world. Or that I'd get to work so closely with such a fantastic charity as Surfers Against Sewage. Best of all, I never imagined it would give me the opportunity to meet, learn from and talk to hundreds of people in schools, universities, businesses and government.
Everyday Plastic is helping to communicate the plastic problem on an everyday level. Improving our understanding and encouraging us to do something, anything!
This report is 100% independent and the data collection, research, analysis and writing has been completed in our free time without external interests or funding.
The money raised from crowdfunding enables me to continue the day-to-day work at Everyday Plastic. It will fund further research and develop our education programmes, as well as cover admin, set-up, labour, print, design costs and more. The plastic problem has tipped over into the mainstream this year, but don't be fooled – there is a lot of work to do.
This is an entirely self-funded and self-managed project which helps to communicate this urgent issue of plastic pollution by ensuring it resonates with us – people like you and me.
I’ve had a lot of help along the way. Dr Julie Schneider, for example, has been voluntarily working with me for over a year. Matt and the Leap team have put in 100 hours' worth of design work. Over 20 volunteers turned up to count, weigh and categorise the collection of plastic over 3 days.
This campaign can really help us to continue to work on providing real-time statistics and stories to improve our understanding of the plastic problem by connecting with it on a personal level. It’s a journey which I know has to continue.
Plastic free products and packaging
We have taken every precaution to ensure that the products and packaging are free from plastic throughout the production and delivery process. While I can’t guarantee that absolutely no plastic has been used at all during the process, I can assure you that they will arrive to you without any plastic.
- The reports are made from recycled paper, bound by a plastic-free glue and printed with eco-friendly non-oil based inks.
- The A1 posters are made from the same materials, printed on an uncoated 170gsm stock with eco-friendly non-oil based inks.
- T-shirts are made in partnership with Teemill. All are printed in the UK using low-waste printing technology in a renewable energy powered factory. Products are made from certified organic cotton by ethically accredited suppliers. Read more about Teemill’s sustainability journey here.
- Postcard books are made using recycled paper and with eco-friendly non-oil based inks.
To even get Everyday Plastic to this stage has involved many people's free time and support. A quick thank you to Julie Schneider, Ollie Harrop, Hugo and the team at Surfers Against Sewage, Matt and the team at Leap, and to Tom Shrapnel, Nick Berry and Andy Aitken for helping with poster and t-shirt designs and for knocking up the film.
Finally thank you for supporting, backing, following, liking, watching and looking at this page. It genuinely means a lot. 🚀
Film credits Music: The Traps / Additional footage: © Mural-by-the-Sea 2018
Risks and challenges
This project highlights the plastic waste that we produce by consuming superfluous and convenient products. Not only that, the report also discusses how much resource is used in production, transport, consumption and disposal of our goods.
So you may ask why I've decided to produce and sell a few products. Simply, I believe that there is a value in print. Firstly, both Julie and I want this report to be widely read and shared. Over 5,000 people have downloaded the report online, which is incredible. But, print can increase the reach, particularly in schools and businesses where it can be shared and read away from the screen.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.orgLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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