Fri Apr 19 2019

How much waste does a EU citizen produce?

Spoiler: 28 bags


For a few years now, I’ve been thinking a lot about the ecological impact I have in the world. I know, I’m an idealist.

So when I first got interested in Information Design, the most natural questions that came to mind were: How can I visualize my footprint? How much waste do I produce?

I could have undertaken a super impressive and personal project like Nicholas Feltron by tracking my personal data over a year and displaying it for the world to see… but no. #HelloUnderachieverComplex

For now, I’ve settled on using the ready-made stats from the European Commission about the EU* waste** in 2016.

If you’re wondering whether I created anything at all for this project, I can assure you that I converted the original kilo unit into… trash bags*** (and made it pretty) 🎉🤦‍♀️

* The study didn’t contain data for all EU countries. They also had some data from European countries outside of the EU.
** Waste is defined by Directive 2008/98/EC Article 3(1) as “any substance or object which the holder discards or intends or is required to discard”, and potentially represents an enormous loss of resources in the form of both materials and energy.
*** The amount of waste is measured with a standard 15kg kitchen garbage bag.