Plastic Footprints

Even if we stopped making virgin plastic right now, there would still be enough out in the world to last us forever. Time to get it back.

Step one is to accept the reality that you cannot throw plastics away, because THERE IS NO ‘AWAY’,

We use mostly metal, timber and glass and prefer items that can be repaired. Also, products and packaging that can be deconstructed at the end of useful life to recycle materials separately.

Step Two is reduce consumption and illuminate where and how plastics enter your life.

Though in reality we can’t remove plastic entirely, we can avoid using it for short term purposes or foods that will be heated. Choose plastic tools, containers etc to last 10 years plus and make them earn their keep.

We prefer companies that use recycled/reclaimed/sequestered plastic content in their manufacture. We’ve purchased reclaimed plastic products from local manufacturing companies that source materials from reclaimed waste.

Replas Lyrebird bench: made from reclaimed plastic.

Step Three is to become more responsible about how we use and repair what we have, and become responsible for the remaining plastics we own and recycle.

Beyond reducing consumption, two years ago, we did an audit of the plastics we found unavoidable. This included soft plastic packaging and older items we had for years and retired during the year. We logged items for 12 weeks, then took an average and multiplied it by 52 to get an approximate annual plastic footprint, in kilograms.
There are in increasing number of companies that specialise in reclaimed plastic. Seek them out and support them. They are the key to a circular economy future. In our part of the world, REPLAS is a valuable ally.
They have a wide range of products that are sturdy, practical, long-lasting, and sequester reclaimed plastic.

Even if we stopped making virgin plastic right now, there would still be enough out in the world to last us forever. Time to get it back.

Revealing our own plastic footprint

We decided to invest in sequestered plastic product to the weight of our audited usage, as a price signal to developing demand industries in our state. Further, to be more socially and financially responsible for the impact our plastic use has on our environment. We have two long benches that together make up 10 years of personal plastics use.


REPLAS has many designs, but these simple ones suit the old school where we live. If in the future we don’t need any more reclaimed plastic items ourselves, we will use this method to donate and recommend to local groups who need benches, tables, bollards…

If you are procure for community groups, schools or councils, choose sequestered plastic products

For our boys, it has made our plastic consumption real, and helped illuminate the hidden plastic consumption all around us. This is our ACTIVITY over ACTIVISM, and it is positively infectious.

garden table

There is no ‘away’

This past 40 years we have been drunk on convenience with no concept of cost. We now know there ARE costs – landfill waste, pollution, emission, planned obsolescence,  modern slavery, resource depletion, false economy and product dumping. We can neither deny nor unknow these things. We can no longer ‘throw away’. 

There is no ‘away’. 

The good news is it is not so long ago that we knew how to mend and repair, to grow, to make, to share, to reuse, to wear out, to save, and to make do. We can get those skills back. We are the link to helping future generations grapple with the world we have left by learning, sharing and passing on skills humans had for millenia and lost in only about 40 years. 

Essentially, opening our eyes to how we make and consume, to then actively regenerate resources or at least effectively sequester at end of life. We can create more circular prudential resource systems that show we know where our stuff comes from, how it is used, and where it ends up.

Educating ourselves on all aspects of daily life, of resources, science, waste and culture – is about life literacy.

My dad used to say being literate about life has two benefits – one is that you’ll meet all sorts of folks and need to appreciate and get along with most of them. 

The other is just as important 
– to be able to smell bullshit from a bit farther away.  😉