I don’t normally do environmental pieces on this blog but today we step outside of the normal format to discuss plastic. I use plastic, Im sure you do to. Plastic is horrible for the environment and if you have the ability to do so, you should not only use less of it but do your part in cleaning up some of the plastic already polluting our world.
Need convincing? Here are some random facts about plastic.
- Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
- 50 percent of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away.
- Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.
- Plastic accounts for around 10 percent of the total waste we generate.
- Plastic in the ocean breaks down into such small segments that pieces of plastic from a one liter bottle could end up on every mile of beach throughout the world.
- Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used worldwide. More than one million bags are used every minute.
- 46 percent of plastics float (EPA 2006) and it can drift for years before eventually concentrating in the ocean gyres.
- It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade.
- Billions of pounds of plastic can be found in swirling convergences in the oceans making up about 40 percent of the world’s ocean surfaces. 80 percent of pollution enters the ocean from the land.
- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California and is the largest ocean garbage site in the world. This floating mass of plastic is twice the size of Texas, with plastic pieces outnumbering sea life six to one.
- Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile.
- One million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans.
- 44 percent of all seabird species, 22 percent of cetaceans, all sea turtle species and a growing list of fish species have been documented with plastic in or around their bodies.
Plastic is horrible for the environment and horrible for all of our futures. I know I sound hyperbolic and this post is out of the norm for this blog. I feel strongly about plastic pollution and I hope, in my small corner of the blog sphere, the people who read this take it to heart and do something, anything to cut down on the plastic.
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