In business, plastic is used on a daily basis. Think pens and printer cartridges, but also coffee milk packets and plastic cups. Consciously or unconsciously, the plastic footprint of a company can sometimes be enormous. But you can do something about it.
Companies and their (large) plastic footprint
Companies want to have a better insight into their use of plastic and are aware of the environmental problems plastic causes. Nevertheless, the emission of plastics into the environment is hardly an issue. An inquiry among Socially Responsible Enterprise experts showed that 83% of companies do not yet report on their use of plastic. This is one of the results of an inquiry that Dr. Karen Maas of Impact Centre Erasmus (ICE) carried out recently.
Together with Dr. Maas, the Plastic Soup Foundation is developing a Plastic Footprint with support from consultancy PwC. The Plastic Footprint will help organisations systematically track their plastic trail. In doing so, they will gain a better insight into the question of how to reduce their use of plastic, how to prevent leakage into the environment and how the reuse of plastic can be improved.
The Plastic Footprint is a standardised method which companies will soon be able to use to see how they score in various dimensions. Companies will not just get a better insight into their own use of plastic, they will also see how their suppliers and customers deal with plastic. The Plastic Footprint is currently being tested in a pilot. Based on the results of this pilot, the method will be adjusted where necessary.
Many companies have no idea how much plastic they use. As soon as the Plastic Footprint has been developed, businesses and organisations will have a tool to deal with plastics better and to provide more openness and transparency on their use of plastic.
With the My Little Plastic Footprint app you are challenged to reduce your plastic footprint.
My Little Plastic Footprint
One app activating millions!
Discover the Plastic Soup, reduce your personal plastic Footprint, inspire, and get inspired.
We create a lot of plastic waste, much of which ends up in the ocean. There it breaks up to small fragments, which is turning our oceans into a global soup of microplastics: the plastic soup.
The plastic soup is growing, and our own plastic footprint with it, mainly because of litter from land. We are all responsible: consumers, companies and governments alike. Of all the plastic we use every day, we throw 50% away within 20 minutes. Only 3% of this single-use plastic will eventually end up in surface water. Out of all the plastic that ends up in the water, 94% will eventually sink to the bottom of the sea, where it ends up eaten by plankton, fish and other animals. They are at the bottom of the food chain – we are at the top of it.
The Plastic Soup Foundation has gathered an international team to create the first plastic footprint app for consumers. Our “little” plastic footprint is 40 grams per month per human being on this planet, but there is something we can all do to reduce it!
With this app, you can challenge your knowledge, learn more about the plastic soup issue, join pledges to reduce your own plastic footprint, and follow our Ocean Heroes in the fight against plastic pollution in our oceans.
Reduce your plastic footprint by committing to refuse straws with your drinks, bringing a reusable bottle, refusing plastic bottles in restaurants, and taking a reusable bag when doing groceries; these are just a few of many pledges you can take to help reduce your plastic footprint. Taking small steps in your daily life will help reduce your plastic use, which will be quantified and added to your profile on the app.
The Ocean Heroes in My Little Plastic Footprint app include: DJ Oliver Heldens, one of the top DJs in the world; Dorian Van Rijsselberghe, two-time gold medal Olympic windsurfer; Pierre-Yves Cousteau, marine consultant and diver; Nanja van den Broek and William Trubridge, both world record holder free divers; Alan Roura, Swiss skipper; Merijn Tinga, Plastic Soup Surfer; and Ernst Bromeis, expedition swimmer.
My Little Plastic Footprint launched is test version at the Ocean Summit during the Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante, Spain, in October 18, 2017. After a few improvements, the launch of the app took place in Nairobi, Kenya, during the United Nations Environment Assembly, organized by UN Environment, in December 2017. This app is supported by the Clean Seas campaign, Turn the Tide on Plastic, from the UN Environment.
Download the app here for Android and iOS:
The international team behind this app includes the following partners:
Plastic Soup Foundation: NGO based in Amsterdam leading the successful worldwide campaign “Beat the Microbead”. Their mission: no plastic waste in our water!
EA: in-depth knowledge of plastic footprint data and gamification expert.
Smäll: one of the leading advertising agencies in Spain in the field of sustainability.
Ocean Recovery Alliance: International NGO based in Hong Kong and the US, with two global programs on plastic pollution, one of which is the Plastic Disclosure Project, which is a B2B version of the footprinting process.
Amsterdam, January 12, 2018 —First there was a tweet. Gunther Oettinger, the EU commissioner for budget and human resources, wondered whether the European Union should impose a tax on the production of plastic for environmental reasons. Soon after, he gave a written explanation to journalists in — among others — this message.
The European Commission wants to impose a tax on plastic in the entirety of the European Union in order fight pollution and to make use of the income it would provide. Due to Brexit, however, it has become more difficult to finalize such a measure. Another important reason for the implementation of this proposal is because, as of recently, China no longer imports waste plastic from Europe.
This is important news.
There are two ways to do something in order to cut the use of plastic in practice, thereby lowering the accompanying environmental damage. The first is to prohibit certain applications of the material, such as the use of microplastics in personal care products. The second is to make plastic more expensive, for example by imposing a levy on production. At the moment, plastic is dirt cheap, which means that the cost of the pollution it causes is not included in the price. Because plastic is so cheap, it is massively used and preferred over other materials on the market. Practically every separate fruit is packaged in it. Single-use plastic dominates, and the subsequent damage — the plastic soup — appears on the front pages of the news more and more often.
Up until now, producers and politicians maintained an entirely different approach; placing the burden on the consumer. People must be taught that plastic can no longer end up as litter. Already-used plastic must be recycled. Both these strategies leave the annual growth of plastic production undisturbed, and both offer no results. It seems to be an illusion that the plastic cycle can be closed completely (so that plastic doesn’t reach the environment); an entire population can hardly be raised to ensure that everyone neatly separates their waste and always tidies up after themselves.
Commissioner Oettinger does not yet know if the tax will fall on producers or consumers. Either way, the announcement is a milestone. We cannot lose time. By making plastic more expensive, both consumers as well as producers will deal with the material in a different way.
Maria Westerbos, director of the Plastic Soup Foundation: “We encourage a Europe-wide tax on plastic. This is a step in the right direction. Disposable plastic will be taxed, hopefully suggesting that its heyday is over”.
Alicante, 18 October 2017 – Our long awaited app, My Little Plastic Footprint, had its soft launch this morning. The launch took place during the very first Ocean Summit of the 13th Volvo Ocean Race which starts in Alicante, Spain. This app allows people anywhere in the world to reduce their plastic footprint and learn more about the plastic soup in the oceans.
The plastic soup is growing and everybody contributes to it – citizens, companies and governments. Of all the plastic that we use, we throw 40% away within twenty minutes. Of this, 3% ultimately ends up in the water. This can change. It has to change!
My Little Plastic Footprint offers an interactive platform where you can do something about the plastic soup in the ocean. You could explore the issue and test your knowledge in a quiz. You can also reduce your own ‘footprint’ by making pledges and sharing them with your friends and contacts on social media. Examples of pledges could be:
I will not use plastic straws anymore;
I will not accept any plastic bags in shops anymore.
Some screens of My Little Plastic Footprint
The app starts with 60 pledges. The number will grow over time. The smaller your plastic footprint becomes, the bigger your chance to be nominated as Ocean Champion.
In the third part of the app, you can be inspired by Ocean Heroes, celebrities who take action against plastic pollution. See the Ocean Heroes by downloading the app or by going to mylittleplasticfootprint.org.
We would like to ask you, our followers, to test this first version of the app.
Help us reduce humanity’s plastic footprint.
We have six weeks in which to remove any bugs and errors, and we can only do this with your help.
Will you help us? The app is available at the App Store and via Google Play. For more information about the app, check out www.mylittleplasticfootprint.org.
The app is built by: the Plastic Soup Foundation in the Netherlands, EA in Switzerland, Smäll in Barcelona and the Ocean Recovery Alliance in Hong Kong.
https://www.plasticsoupfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Schermafbeelding-2017-10-18-om-15.39.42-1.png16002560Eric Selekyhttps://www.plasticsoupfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/PSFlogo_nieuw-PNG-300x142.pngEric Seleky2017-10-19 13:39:062017-10-19 13:43:07Softlaunch My Little Plastic Footprint
Consumers have an abundance of choice in supermarkets these days. From gluten free, low fat, sugar free, vegetarian and organic. But the option of buying plastic free packaging is still not available. A Plastic Planet launched the “A Plastic Free Aisle” campaign earlier this year in the United Kingdom. Supermarket chains are being asked to put aside a part of their shops for plastic free products. Consumers then have the choice whether to reduce their personal plastic waste.
A Plastic Planet is running a simple but effective campaign. The site asks everyone to film themselves saying “Hi, I am [name], I am a plastic addict, but I am ready for change. I want a plastic free aisle”. They then invite three other people to do the same. The films are available on the website.
A Plastic Planet has carried out a survey among 2,000 adults. The survey shows that 91% of the respondents would like to see plastic free aisles in the supermarkets. On average, senior citizens are a little more positive than younger people. Eighty-one percent of the respondents were concerned about the amount of plastic packaging.
Minister for the Environment Karolina Skog (Sweden) announced a ban on the sale of cosmetics containing microplastics at the United Nations Ocean Conference at the beginning of June 2017. The ban is to come into effect by 2020. Six other European countries have joined Sweden’s initiative: Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxemburg and Norway.
However the ban is limited to rinse off products, which means it applies to plastic particles added to exfoliant scrubs. In 2015 the United States introduced a similar ban — the Microbeads Free Water Act, which was later criticized because other cosmetics still are still allowed to contain plastic particles which can end up in the sea, such as sun tan lotion, deodorant, lipstick and shaving foam.
The international Beat the Microbead coalition welcomes the legal ban, but believes it should not be limited to rinse off products and just seven countries. Only when microplastics in all cosmetics have been banned, will we be able to guarantee that they no longer enter the maritime environment. The European Union must take this decision.
https://www.plasticsoupfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/4271226520_fbbe93b61f_b.jpg6831024Plastic Soup Foundationhttps://www.plasticsoupfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/PSFlogo_nieuw-PNG-300x142.pngPlastic Soup Foundation2017-07-17 10:49:552017-07-17 10:49:55Sweden leads European ban on microbeads
Nineteen of the largest aquaria in the United States have launched the In Our Hands campaign. This coalition of aquaria is tackling the plastic pollution of the ocean and has announced that each member will stop its use of single-use plastic items.
The aquaria have also announced that they are stopping handing out plastic bags forthwith. Further, they are starting to phase out plastic straws, and all plastic bottles will be banned from all their cafeterias by 2020. They will work with their suppliers to dramatically reduce the quantity of plastic packaging in their souvenir shops.
These companies’ mission is marine conservation and education, and as such they strive to set an example to their visitors in their waste management. In our hands aims to change the consumer behaviour of the more than 20 million visitors to the aquaria every year while raising awareness about the plastic soup. Special exhibits which explain plastic pollution to visitors and show alternatives to plastic and ways to reduce plastic consumption should also help.
One of the initiators of In Our Hands is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The aquarium’s spokesperson, Ken Peterson, said to the Mercury News that the coalition will encourage zoos, sports teams, airports and other companies to join the movement.
Maria Westerbos, director of the Plastic Soup Foundation, said “Companies that exhibit the underwater world that they wish to protect are perfectly placed to set a good example and to motivate other organisations to dramatically reduce their plastic footprint.”
https://www.plasticsoupfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Corals-Coral-Reef-Monterey-Bay-Aquarium-Aquarium-474052.jpg720960Plastic Soup Foundationhttps://www.plasticsoupfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/PSFlogo_nieuw-PNG-300x142.pngPlastic Soup Foundation2017-07-14 14:15:172017-07-14 14:15:17Major American aquaria stand together to reduce the plastic soup
We are proud to announce that the Plastic Soup Foundation has a new Bronze Business Angel, the travel agent Better Places. The company will collaborate with the Plastic Soup Foundation and will make special efforts towards creating a cleaner world.
Better Places is a social enterprise with a social and sustainable mission. It believes in a world in which there is place for inspiring products and companies, built by proud local entrepreneurs. “Better Places is working with the Plastic Soup Foundation because we still want to offer our customers wonderful trips in 20 years’ time where they can enjoy clean beaches and unspoilt nature,” explains spokesperson Saskia Griep.
On 8 June, World Oceans Day, Better Places launched a new sustainability project called the Plastic Challenge. Through the project, the company wants to make people aware of the plastic problem and to encourage them to join forces to tackle it this summer. In 2017, everyone that books a trip at Better Places will receive a re-usable Dopper bottle. The travellers will be asked to fill their Doppers at as many places as possible. As it is not yet possible to drink water from the tap everywhere, Better Places is asking its community to do some research. The company would like to receive photos of drinking water points all over the world so that it can share this information with its community. Then everyone who is on the road can refill their Dopper bottles and avoid using unnecessary plastic.
Welcome Better Places! We are looking forward to a good and fruitful collaboration.
https://www.plasticsoupfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Better-Places.png8991899Plastic Soup Foundationhttps://www.plasticsoupfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/PSFlogo_nieuw-PNG-300x142.pngPlastic Soup Foundation2017-07-05 17:48:092017-07-05 17:48:09Better Places is now Bronze Business Angel
The worldwide consumption of plastic is still rising. In 2016, 480 billion plastic bottles were sold while in 2004, this was still 300 billion. Now, one million plastic bottles are sold every minute and the number of bottles sold yearly will increase to 583.3 billion in 2021. These are the findings of research done by Euromonitor, an institute that carries out international market research.
According to the research, the enormous demand for plastic bottles is largely the result of the urbanisation of China. According to Rosemary Downy, head of packaging at Euromonitor, almost one quarter of all plastic bottles are consumed in China. In 2015 alone, almost 68.4 billion plastic bottles of water were sold in China. This number rose to 73.8 billion in 2016.
Less than half of all purchased plastic bottles in 2016 were collected for recycling. Only 7% of these bottles went to make new PET bottles. Most plastic bottles ended up in rubbish dumps or in the environment. It is estimated that every year between 5 and 13 billion kilos of plastic waste ends up in the ocean – the equivalent of one full rubbish collection lorry every minute.
The statistics produced by Euromonitor triggered Recycling Netwerk to call on the political parties that are currently sitting around the negotiation table, forming a new government. They are requesting the negotiators to include this issue on the agenda of the new coalition government.
In February, the Dutch government showed willingness to explore ways to reduce the number of plastic bottles in litter by 90%. In doing so, they listened to the wishes of The House of Representatives. A wide majority of The House of Representatives rallied behind Merijn Tinga (Plastic Soup Surfer), who collected almost 58,000 signatures, urging them to set a deposit system on small plastic bottles. The then Minister of the Environment, Sharon Dijksma, promised to submit a proposal to The House of Representatives this autumn.
It is nearly July and that means that more than one million people from 130 countries will take the challenge of not using disposable plastic and using alternatives instead. Plastic Free July was started in Australia in 2011. Rebecca Prince-Ruiz started wondering why she had so many plastic items in her house and how she could change this. Her colleagues and friends joined in and a grassroots initiative was born.
The idea behind Plastic Free July is to take small steps that could have a large impact. The initiative targets people who are trying to make a difference in their own surroundings or at school and are able to encourage other people to follow their example. The website contains plenty of practical information for people who want to reduce their plastic pollution.
A good first step is to download an action picker on the Plastic Free July website. It gives practical tips for 18 categories of plastic products that can be avoided, such as plastic bags, straws and packaged vegetables and fruit. The website also has recipes for making your own shampoo and toothpaste.
If you are ready to take on the Plastic Free July challenge, Rebecca has a good tip: “You can quickly get very demotivated at first. That’s why I would not start with everything at the same time. Make a list of the plastic that you already have. You could start by looking at all the plastic in your rubbish bin and eliminating one or two of these. Small steps can already make a huge difference!”
https://www.plasticsoupfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/plastic-free-july-logo-straight-lge_1_orig-e1498059283712.jpg397300Michiel Roscam Abbinghttps://www.plasticsoupfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/PSFlogo_nieuw-PNG-300x142.pngMichiel Roscam Abbing2017-06-21 17:33:032017-06-21 17:35:14Make the difference during Plastic Free July
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