Just like the Stone Age or the Bronze Age, we are in the Plastics Age. Sadly, despite the benefits of the proliferation of plastics in our lives, plastic has also become a plague on our planet.
Some facts about plastic pollution:
- Plastic is made from petroleum products, it uses 8% of the world’s oil production. It accounts for 10% of the world’s total waste.
- Plastic takes 500 to 1000 years to degrade. Every bit of plastic that’s ever been produced is still in existence, even if they are broken down into ever smaller particles.
- Plastic that’s been thrown away each year is enough to circle the earth 4 times.
- 50% of plastic are used only once and disposed of; only 5% of these are recovered.
- On average, each person in the US throws away 185 pounds of plastic per year.
- 35 billion plastic drink bottles are thrown away each year in the US alone.
- 500 million plastic drinking straws are thrown away in the US each day.
- Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in the oceans, swirling and converging in 5 ocean gyres around the world, covering some 40% of the oceans. The largest, the Great Pacific Gyre, off the coast of California, is twice the size of Texas, where plastic pieces outnumber sealife 6 to 1.
- By the year 2050, there will be more plastics in the oceans than fish by weight.
- A million seabirds, and 100,000 marine mammals are killed by plastics in the oceans each year. Fish and sea life ingests plastic, and this goes up the food chain to land on our tables.
- Plastic chemicals can be absorbed into our bodies, with potential to cause harm.
Read the Infographic above, to see how we can do our part to reduce plastic pollution.
Plastic Pollution Coalition: http://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/
Plastic BAN list: http://www.surfrider.org/publications/entry/7271