Plastic Footprint Calculator

The ubiquity of plastic is a terrifying fact - it's everywhere around us: in the ground and in the oceans, in our food and in the water we drink. More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year; by 2050, we are going to have more plastic waste than fish. But what can we do about this? Isn't this a problem just for big companies and industries? Of course not, remember that little drops make the mighty ocean! Inform yourself and others, be aware, change your lifestyle, take action. This plastic footprint calculator was created to help that - find out what your plastic usage will be in a year's time. We encourage you to quit some bad habits and reduce the plastic footprint - believe it or not, but we can live without all these plastic bags, disposable cups, straws, and plastic bottles. If you are concerned about our future and the Earth we pass to the next generations, read on to find more information about plastic pollution.

How long does it take for plastic waste to decompose?

It is estimated that only 5-10 % of the world's plastic is recycled. More than 30 % of it ends up in a landfill, and around one third - in the oceans. How embarrassing. We've even created a new continent - a mass of plastic waste the size of Europe. Have a look at this National Geographic short animation about plastic pollution - we are certain that after watching it, you'll feel the need to change the world, step by step.

So, how long does it take for plastic garbage to decompose? Scientists estimate that plastic can take more than 500 years to degrade, but for the specific items this time can be shorter:

Image source:, on the basis of NOAA

The 4 R's rule: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The 4R's is a rule to minimize and manage waste - it's fundamental for those who really care about the world we are living in. How do you start?

Sometimes it's even called the 5 R's rule - the last R standing for Rot, Repurpose or Remove, depending on the source.

How to calculate plastic footprint?

If you are wondering what your yearly plastic consumption is, check out the plastic footprint calculator:

Remember that the plastic footprint calculator features only the basic products - your plastic footprint may be much higher if you add some other products, e.g. plastic furniture, boxes, crates, buckets, flower pots, bowls, or any other plastic items.

How can I reduce my plastic footprint?

Well, you can do a lot about that. Take the 4 R's pledge and start from small things:

Don't wait any longer, change your habits today: check our Kaya identity calculator to understand how to quantify our impact, or find out what's your travel carbon footprint and try to live the greener life.

Hanna Pamuła, PhD candidate