5 Mins Read
Take a scroll through your app store and you’ll find trackers for almost everything, from your daily steps to monthly spending. Now, there’s an app to keep on top of your single-use plastic consumption too.
Just launched by Hong Kong-based charity EcoDrive, the new free-to-download My Impact app helps users measure and track their personal plastic usage and reduction efforts. Released as part of the organisation’s celebrity-backed Enough Plastic 2021 campaign, the mobile app is designed to make you more aware of how much plastic you use on a daily basis—and more importantly, the impact you’re making by reducing, reusing and recycling.
The app itself is designed to be interactive and social. Once you create your profile on My Impact, you can log your plastic-reducing actions and make it a competition between your friends to see who’s making the most progress. To make it low-maintenance and easy to use, the app also lets users mark which actions are “recurring” so that it automatically tracks what users do regularly, whether it’s twice daily or once a week.
Users can even join a “community” on the app to join hands for a recycling initiative, for instance, or scroll through the discover section to find out nearby anti-plastic campaigns, beach clean-up events and tips from other members.
Part of it is also awareness raising and education, with handy and easy-to-digest information available on the app for users to learn more about the single-use plastic problem in Hong Kong and in other regions.
‘Know you are making a difference’
Speaking with Green Queen Media, Jason Holman, the developer behind My Impact, explains that the whole idea was to encourage plastic-reduction efforts among individuals by giving them a visual progress tracker.
“We wanted to recreate the concept of the popular “fitness tracker” apps, like Strava, for single-use plastic. When you can see, and be aware of, how many steps you have taken on your fitness tracker, for example, it encourages you to do more, or keep up your efforts—especially if you are sharing the results with your friends and community on social media,” Holman said.
“My Impact aims to do the same. If users can directly see the Impact of their actions, by reducing single-use plastic and recycling, it will push them to do a bit more.”
By gamifying the process, people are kept engaged and striving for more. They are also motivated to share their achievements and successes.Jason Holman, Developer, My Impact
One common problem that individuals face is not knowing how much of a difference they’re making, Holman added.
“It’s commonplace to become disheartened. With our app they can really visualise their Impact and know they are making a difference in a tangible way. By gamifying the process, people are kept engaged and striving for more. They are also motivated to share their achievements and successes.”
Bringing plastic-reduction to workplaces and schools
As part of EcoDrive’s campaign to get everyone involved in the fight against plastic pollution, the charity hopes that the app will also be used in workplaces and schools. Whether members are employees in a company or university students, they can form a community together or separate into “teams” by department or classes to see who can make the most impact.
“News content relevant to that particular community will also be published,” Holman told Green Queen Media. “Communities [can] track cumulative impact over time, or celebrate certain individual teams or users who are doing a great job. You can even compete in time-based challenges and comment on other users’ achievements.”
“It’s designed to push initiatives in the workplace, educate in schools and lure in users who aren’t necessarily fully-fledged “eco-enthusiasts” yet,” he added, noting that this is what makes My Impact stand out from similar apps like My Little Plastic Footprint.
Positive user feedback
So far, MyImpact has already received a number of positive reviews. The app’s members, spanning all over the world, say it’s a useful tool to measure their anti-plastic efforts and see how refusing single-use items can add up to make a big difference.
“It’s really easy to use and I think could make a genuine, positive impact,” said Dan Norman, co-founder of U.K.-based Norlo Coffee. “At the very least, raising awareness about our own plastic footprint can only be a good thing.”
My message is to rethink our relationship with this virtually indestructible material which we’ve somehow come to see as “disposable” and understand our responsibility as consumers.Claire Yates, Co-Founder, EcoDrive
Hannah, a director at RedBox Storage in Hong Kong, agrees: “It is amazing to see how small actions can add up to a big impact. I’ve never really been able to visualise that before. I’ve found it really helpful to cut down on my day-to-day single-use plastic usage and increase my recycling efforts.”
Candy, a workplace change manager also based in Hong Kong, says: “Now I’m able to track how many plastic bags I’ve saved since I recently started refusing produce bags at the wet market. It’s great tool to help beginner get started and rethink before consuming.”
Ultimately, EcoDrive hopes to help people no matter where they are on their environmental journey. “I think people will be surprised how easy it is to refuse, reuse and reduce single-use plastic where before they barely noticed the amount they were responsible for on a daily basis,” EcoDrive co-founder Claire Yates tells Green Queen Media.
“My message is to rethink our relationship with this virtually indestructible material which we’ve somehow come to see as “disposable” and understand our responsibility as consumers.”
All images courtesy of EcoDrive / My Impact, lead image designed by Green Queen Media.