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Your Plastic Footprint: What It Is and How to Reduce It

September 1, 2022

Your Plastic Footprint: What It Is and How to Reduce It

About 300 trillion tonnes of plastic waste is produced every year with no sign of stopping. The material is cheap and offers many uses, but disposing of it can cause permanent damage to our environment.

This article will discuss the nature of plastic footprint and the many steps we can take to reduce its impact.

  • What is a Plastic Footprint?
  • Why is Plastic Footprint Important?
  • Reducing Your Plastic Footprint
  • Conclusion

What is plastic footprint?

When someone brings up plastic footprint, they are not talking about plastic use on an individual level.

The term describes a way to measure the amount of plastic waste from people and corporations on a routine basis.

All the plastic we consume and dispose of accumulates to a calculated number representing potential waste in a certain amount of time.

Modern technology has made it easier to track your plastic footprint with apps that provide an adaptive calculator. The app focuses on all the plastic items you use to create a plastic mass index that measures your contribution to plastic pollution.

Why is plastic footprint important?

Plastic is a material that provides its use in several scenarios. Its transformative properties can become containers, bags, seals, and other items that take advantage of the elasticity.

With such a grand purpose to our way of living, plastic consumption has a strong connection to climate change and pollutes the ocean more than any other material. Plastic also creates CO2, so as the plastic footprint grows, the carbon footprint increases as well.

Out of the 350 million tons of plastic waste consumed yearly, only 9 percent of that waste becomes recyclable. The other 91 percent of plastic gets incinerated or dumped at a landfill, which leads to poisoned soil and cluttered ocean shores full of trash.

The responsibility exists between consumers and corporations, but both sides find it hard to change their habits and make sufficient efforts. Fewer consumers use non-plastic materials, and most corporations lost track of their focus on an eco-friendly environment.

The best method to increase plastic control is with a set of protocols, such as these standard guidelines by Verra. These guidelines organize practices for reporting plastic footprints, establishing footprint mitigation methods, and making the global promise to reduce plastic waste.

Reducing your plastic footprint

There is a way to live a sustainable life while being conscious of the environment. Consumers and corporations can make the first step in reducing their plastic footprint and finding ways to collect and recycle plastic waste.

Taking on the grand scale of plastic pollution is too much for anyone to handle, but small efforts can also make a difference.

Here are a few ways to reduce your plastic footprint.

Reusable water bottles

Plastic water bottles are a common trash item found in our waterways. There are other methods to preserve clean drinking water without buying a pack of plastic bottles every couple of weeks.

Consider installing a water filter on your kitchen sink. Drinking straight from the tap water is never safe depending on the area, so adding a filter transforms the water and rids it of bacteria.

With a stainless steel water bottle, there’s no longer a need for disposal. The trapped water remains cold for long hours, and the bottles are big enough to carry more water than the typical plastic bottle.

Metal straws

When you enter any fast food chain or movie theater, you will notice many plastic straws used and trashed daily. These industries have the potential for improvement and to prevent plastic waste.

Owning metal straws is a new alternative to keeping a packet of plastic straws because they are non-disposable. Whether it’s steel or glass, the durability of a metal straw can last for years.

Personal bags

Plastic bags have been a staple in grocery shopping for decades. They are elastic enough to fit more items in a single bag but easy enough to escape your hand and fly away when empty.

Disposed bags can fly far enough to end up on highways, forests, or even the shorelines of lakes and oceans. We tend to forget that other wildlife exists in our surroundings, and these bags can pose a threat to their habitat.

Bringing our bags for shopping can prevent the disposal of plastic bags because they become unnecessary. Any bag with a handle and the capacity to hold numerous items will be a solid choice.

Most companies offer their tote bags to promote change to an eco-friendly work environment. Consumers enjoy the fact that their bags are customizable and add personality to their everyday shopping.

Bulk bins

When we organize our groceries after a trip to the supermarket, we tend to use several plastic containers as a choice for storage.

The problem with this is that over time, these containers become worn out and replaced with durable material. After a while, the containers are tossed into the trash and end up in a landfill and deteriorate into the soil.

Instead of spending money on several containers, it would work best to buy bulk bins and group food items together. Buying in bulk also helps to make fewer trips to the store and avoid using so many plastic bags.


Keeping track of plastic footprints contributes to the planet’s sustainability. We all share the same earth, so we should be making efforts to protect it from the dangers of pollution and toxic waste.

Consumers should make conscious lifestyle choices that reduce the amount of plastic we consume regularly. Corporations with big influences should realign their policies to incorporate more recycling programs and better ways to handle plastic around the workplace.

At Second Life, we help companies follow a structured model with designated plastic collection operations that make an environmental impact within communities around the world.

When we all join together, we can contribute to a cleaner world.