The long life and short use of plastic.
The plastic bottles, bags and takeaway containers that we use just for a few minutes use a material that is designed to last. A plastic bottle will take 400-450 years to break down. When shielded from sunlight in landfill this can take thousands of years. It is estimated that 50% of the plastic we use is used just once before being thrown away. A plastic bag has an average “working life” of 15 minutes.
The massive quantities of plastic produced.
Estimated range from 30 billion to over 50 billion plastic bottles and 500 billion to over 1 trillion plastic bags used worldwide each year. Approximately only 6-35% are recycled depending on the type of plastic and the country.
The severity of how polluted our oceans are with plastic.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the name given to a collection of marine debris mostly comprising plastic in the North Pacific Ocean. It is twice the size of Texas and is floating somewhere between San Francisco and Hawaii. It's also 80 percent plastic, and weighs in at 3.5 million tons. We have several known ‘dead spots’ in our ocean due to pollution.
The devastating impact of plastic pollution on marine life.
Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures a year and poison many more with toxic chemicals. The same piece of plastic can kill multiple fish as the bag survives, while the dead fish decays, and is released back into the ocean to be swallowed by another fish. Many other sea creatures are suffering from plastic ingestion. A beached whale was once found to have died from having ingested over 22kg of plastic.
Scientists predict there will be more tonnes of plastic than tonnes of fish in our oceans and water ways by 2050
We must ask ourselves – is the slight convenience worth this devastating cost???
Thinking about going plastic free but worrying about the commitment? I know it is very hard to cut plastic use out of your life completely, but you can easily reduce the amount of the plastics you use by following couple of simple steps - I promise it is simple and easy, and you don't need to compromise your lifestyle.