13.05.2019 change 17.05.2019

How much plastic waste do you produce? Check with an online calculator

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

An EU citizen produces an average of 31 kg of plastic waste per year. The calculator created by a Kraków start-up allows to check how your plastic consumption compares to this value. It can motivate to reduce the use of plastic, the creators of the calculator argue.

The calculator can be found on the Omni Calculator website. To use it, enter the number of plastic products consumed in your kitchen, bathroom, as well as disposable materials used outside (for example coffee cups).

"Plastic footprint calculator will add all the plastic you used throughout the year. In our example, it summed up to 64 pounds (29 kg), and the average for a European citizen is 68 pounds (31 kg). That's a heck of a lot of plastic! To make it worse, we can tell you that this footprint is still relatively small if you are living in the US: the average American throws away approximately 185 pounds (84 kg) a year! Multiply this by 300 million US inhabitants, and you will understand why plastic pollution is such a pressing issue" - reads the information on the calculator website.

The creators of the calculator remind that it only takes the basic products into account and the real consumption of plastics can be much higher after adding, for example, products used for work.

Meanwhile, plastic waste is not easy to get rid of. Researchers estimate that degradation of plastic can take from a few years to several centuries, and only about 5-10 percent world plastic is recycled. According to estimates, over 30 percent plastic waste goes to landfills, and about one third to the oceans.

On the calculator page you can also find advice on how to reduce your plastic consumption - for example, by not using plastic straws or carrying your own, reusable water bottle.

The Plastic Waste Calculator was created by Hanna Pamuła and Wojciech Sas - PhD students at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków, who work in the Kraków start-up Omni Calculator. Its website offers several hundred calculators. They include a sleep calculator (which tells you when you should go to bed to get enough sleep), tanning calculator (how long you can stay in the sun with a specific filter, or which filter you should use), and even... a doughnut calculator created on the occasion of Fat Thursday (it calculates how much time you should spend on specific, pleasant activities to burn calories from the sweet delicacy).

PAP - Science in Poland, Katarzyna Florencka

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