My Plastic Footprint by Kat Greenbrook

My Plastic Footprint is a physical data visualisation project.

It began in an attempt to understand my own plastic use. For one year, I kept and recorded every piece of plastic I would normally have thrown away.

While it became easier to make sense of my data after graphing it, I lost empathy for what it represented. I no longer felt the emotions I felt while processing the plastic waste when viewing the graph.

When heated, plastic softens and can be reshaped. Using a silicone mold, I created small turtles from plastic waste. By incorporating the plastic (what was measured) in the visualisation (what was communicated), it became easier to connect the two. The turtles not only give this data a physical presence but also introduce an emotive element through their representation of animals lost due to plastic pollution.

The process challenged my thinking on the role data visualisation has when communicating — should it make us care more about the things we measure? I hope this physical representation of data helps expand the idea of what a ‘data visualisation’ can be.

Details of the project have been shared at the below links:

Nightingale -

Outlier -

Website -

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