We were pleased to run a Data Dive on 6th July, together with Methods at Manchester. The challenge was:
- Local to global: The data in plastic, from single use carrier bags to international emissions from plastic manufacture – data strategies for plastic usage reduction.
As plastic pollution has become a serious concern in recent years, we were interested in participants looking at both local and global issues related to plastic, this could be anything from single use carrier bags to international emissions from plastic manufacture.
It was fantastic to see such a wide range of people from different sectors get together and explore not only the data that are available, but the ideas that people have on this subject.
Next we had a talk from Duncan Millard, an International Statistics Advisor formerly the Chief Statistician, and the Head of the IEA Energy Data Centre. We were pleased to have Duncan present, as we provide access to International Energy Agency (IEA) data through our platform UKDS.Stat. He spoke about the increasing use of oil for non-energy uses and the wealth of international data relating to plastic manufacture, usage and waste.
Neil and I then provided a brief introduction to the UK Data Service and some of the relevant data we have within and outside of the service.
Richard about to present. Image: Neil Dymond-Green
As already mentioned we host data from the IEA, and we have other datasets of interest such as the OECD Environmental Statistics and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). We also provide access to UK Census data, which can be combined with other datasets to see if there are any patterns between demographics and data related to plastic use.
We encouraged people to look wider than just what we host, as there are lots of interesting and relevant open data available that can be utilised. For more information about some of these datasets, please read Neil’s post on our Impact and Innovation Lab.
Developing and pitching ideas
After this introduction, people started thinking about their ideas. Participants explored a variety of data sources and discussed their thoughts. This was followed by short pitches, and groups forming to refine their ideas further.
Neil facilitating the pitches. Image: Victoria Moody
A huge range of fantastic pitches from the attendees! Image: Neil Dymond-Green
In between groups developing their ideas over the next few hours, we managed to have enough time to eat some delicious pizza.
Hard at work. Image: Neil Dymond-Green
Presenting their ideas
Towards the end of the day groups presented their work:
- Team Wonky Sankey, developed a Sankey diagram showing where UK plastics originate from, and where it all ends up
- Team Plastic People created several visualisations exploring UK plastic imports, and the different sectors in the UK
- Team Single Used Plastics produced a map concerning plastic bag charge data and locations of supermarket chains.
Team Single Used Plastic presenting their idea. Image: Neil Dymond-Green
After much deliberation from our judges, Duncan Millard and Lisa Williams from Methods@Manchester, Team Single Used Plastics were crowned the winners, and with some additional development, we’re looking to turn this map into a 3D visualisation.
It was amazing just how much participants achieved in just a few hours!
Our judges: Duncan Millard and Lisa Williams (Methods@Manchester). Image: Neil Dymond-Green
What people thought of the day
Duncan Millard, International Statistics Advisor stated:
I really enjoyed the event and it was great to be part of it and able to provide some input. I think the mix of skills and background you had from all there really added to the thinking and development of ideas, all of which could be taken on further.
Lisa Williams, Methods@Manchester said:
People who came to the Data Dive were clearly enthused and enjoyed the challenge. Positive comments we received included:
A great day overall and lots of ideas for my own organisation. Thank you.
I thought the day was really good.
You can also follow our Twitter Moment for the day.
As well as the data sources we collated, Duncan has kindly put together a list of other energy related data that some may find useful:
- Digest of UK energy statistics (DUKES): 60th anniversary
Produced in 2009 to celebrate 60 years of DUKES and provides a summary of changes in energy and energy statistics over the time.
- Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2017
Various links to energy long term trend data
- Lower level geography data:
- National Energy Efficiency Data framework
A data linking project combining meter read data with range of other energy data, as well as associated microdataTwo datasets were published by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC):
- Public Use File (PUF): A sample of 49,815 records selected to be representative of the housing stock (based on Region, property age, property type and floor area band). This dataset is available to download from this page and from data.gov.uk.
- End User Licence File (EUL): A sample of 4 million records (4,086,448). This dataset is available from the UK Data Service, via an end user licence.