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In my book, Plastic Game Changer, I share a 5-step framework to help you accelerate plastic reduction in your organisation, in a proven, simple way so that the task doesn’t overwhelm you.
I’ve called my approach ‘the Plastic Game Changer 5 Ps’:
- Picture – open your eyes to the plastic crisis and picture yourself as part of the solution
- Plot – plot your current plastic usage to identify what needs to change
- Pledge – pledge your commitment publicly to specific plastic reduction targets
- Plan – brainstorm creative ideas, form a plan, then implement it
- Promote – share best practice and promote successes to inspire others to act too.
In this post, I’d like to tell you about new app that has come to my attention, called MyPlasticDiary, a useful tool for tracking and reducing your plastic footprint. It allows you to log all the plastic items you buy, set goals, receive virtual awards, and share your progress on social media to inspire others too.
Here’s how the MyPlasticDiary app fits with the ‘5Ps to become a Plastic Game Changer’ framework.
Since you’re reading this, I assume you already made the first step – that you have managed to Picture the problem in your head, and taken on board the fact that the plastic we use in our everyday lives spills out into our environment, even when we’ve disposed of it responsibly.
The next step on the way to achieving your plastic reduction is to be able to Plot the plastic in your life. In other words, have a systematic way of measuring how much plastic you use, and where it comes from.
If you are doing it as an individual, this means keeping taps on all the plastic packaging you buy or throw away and categorizing it. Does most of your plastic come from hygiene products, or from your fruit and vegetable shopping, or from dairy products?
This is where MyPlasticDiary app can help: it has a very simple and intuitive interface that allows you to log all the plastic you use and put it into categories. Just tap at the right product or packaging category (for example Pots and Tubs), then choose an item that describes your product and its size (i.e. a small yoghurt pot), and the app will tell you the approximate weight of the plastic you are logging. If you are not satisfied with the default weight, you can override it with your own value.
Once you logged a week of plastic, you can see the exact breakdown, and move onto the next steps of becoming a Plastic Game Changer plans: Pledge and Plan.
When you know where your plastic comes from, pledging and planning is a lot easier. First, you can be realistic about your goals. If you discovered that a third of your plastic comes from milk bottles, you know that it is possible to eliminate this plastic by finding a milkman delivery and you can focus on this task. On the other hand, if there is a lot of plastic coming from online grocery shopping and because of your life situation you are going to have to continue with this, you know that this part is not going to be as easy to reduce.
Being realistic and trying to make small changes is key to any programme of change. Do not be hard on yourself if you can not eliminate 100% of plastic on day one, the important thing is making progress.
In MyPlasticDiary app, you can choose your own target level for plastic usage, which can be as ambitious as 5kg of plastic per person a year (UK average is above 30kg) or you can start with just trying to get under 30kg.
The important thing is, you can visualise your consumption of plastic each day, week or month and compare it to your daily, weekly or monthly limit based on your chosen target. You can also see the graph of your plastic consumption through time, seeing how your efforts get reflected in a decreased plastic footprint. This way you can assess how successful you are on your journey and keep yourself honest.
To commit to a Pledge, you can use our Less Plastic Pledge form to keep yourself accountable and have a better chance of success.
Finally we get to the last step in the 5P plan: Promote. When applied to an individual, this means sharing your plastic-free journey with others and creating a ripple effect of positive change among your friends, co-workers, customers and your industry or community.
This is where you can use MyPlasticDiary social media integration features. Once a week, the app calculates your plastic usage and if you have been doing a good job, it awards you with a virtual medal or a cup. You can post this to your Facebook or Instagram feed and let others know that you are actively trying to reduce your plastic footprint and inspire them to do the same.
In the example above, I’ve highlighted how the 5Ps can apply to your individual journey, but of course the impact will be amplified if you apply this in your business, school or university. If you work in a large organisation, you’re in the privileged position of being able to make changes with far-reaching and long-lasting impact, because of the scale of your organisation.
The good news is, it’s not rocket science, it simply needs some focussed effort. You can become a Plastic Game Changer by following the 5Ps outlined above or by using some of the other amazing tools and resources that are becoming increasingly available to people starting on their plastic free challenge.
Why not make a start today, by downloading MyPlasticDiary app, sharing Less Plastic infographics, or choosing other ways to get involved as an individual or an organisation to reduce your plastic footprint and maybe inspire those around you to do the same.
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