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Helping you to reduce your plastic footprint

Jun 10, 2022

The Big Plastic Count, cats and the importance of small steps!

From the 16th to 22nd May we took part in the Big Plastic Count - over the course of the week we counted every bit of plastic waste our household generated (including stuff that was going in the recycling) and at the end of the week we submitted our results. Once you have submitted your results they send you your plastic waste footprint. So how did we do?

Well over the week we generated 27 pieces of plastic waste as a household, 44% from food and drink, 0% from Bathroom and cleaning products (not gonna lie that makes me incredibly happy!) and 56% from a broadly titled category called “everything else”. That’s the equivalent of 1404 pieces of plastic in a year! And if all households in the UK generated the same amount of plastic waste as us that means the UK would generate an incredible 39,452,400,000 pieces of plastic waste a year!

Now I know that seems a terrifyingly huge amount of plastic waste and it might make you wonder what is the point, but I see it in a completely different way. If we decide to tackle one area of plastic waste in our household - so for us our biggest source of plastic waste actually comes from our cat - all of her food pouches clocked up 14 pieces of plastic over the week which accounts for 52% of our plastic waste. So let’s say we move from pouches to cans for our cat food (if she lets us as cats are notoriously fussy!) This one action would save 14 pieces of plastic waste a week (sometimes more if she tricks us into giving her bonus food!!). This means over the entire year we would save 728 pieces of plastic waste, which in itself is a huge saving, but if all the cat owners in the UK did the same swap that would mean the UK as a whole could eliminate 5,727,904,000 pieces of plastic!! How incredible is that?! That’s the power of lots of people making small changes, the cumulative effect is huge. So don't ever doubt you can make a difference. Every Single Piece of plastic you save is important and has a positive impact on the planet.

This is why I started Small Kindness, I really believe that small changes can make a big difference and I wanted to help people take those small steps to help them reduce their plastic waste. I started with soap as that feels to me to be a small manageable change that has the potential to really help people save a lot of plastic waste (potentially 4 bottles a month if you currently use handwash and body wash in plastic bottles). In fact using the data from the plastic waste count if every household moved away from bodywash and handwash in plastic bottles to bars of soap the UK could save an incredible 1,348,800,000 plastic bottles from landfill!! Just look at the impact one easy swap can have!

But that was just the start -I really want to help you reduce more plastic from your daily routine and I want to make it easy for you too, as swaps that are simple to do are the ones you will stick with and will just become part of your daily routine! So the next area I want to help you tackle is one of the areas in our body and beauty care routine that generates a huge amount of plastic waste - and that is shaving. So stay tuned as I have a plan to help you eliminate the plastic waste from your shaving routine entirely!! Just think what an impact that would have on your plastic waste and just imagine the positive impact it could have if everyone in the UK made the change!

I'll be back soon with more information on how we can help you reduce your plastic footprint. Until then, take care

Kelly xx


I am Kelly Townsend and this is the Small Kindness Blog. I am a scientist, a bee lover, a rewilding obsessive, and I want to spread Small Kindnesses through the medium of soap. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for your daily dose of kindness (as well as to see how the soap making is going!)