What you may not know?
Over 300 million tonnes of plastic is manufactured each year – that’s the equivalent to the weight of the entire adult population of the planet. Half of that being single-use. Less than a fifth of all plastic is recycled globally.
Plastic is strong, versatile and cheap to produce. This means it’s popular. Virtually, it is indestructible and we’ve now been outpaced by the production of plastic restricting the planets ability to outweigh this problem.
Human Neglect, Poor Waste Management and a lack of Recycling Facilities across the globe all contribute towards the problem. The irony is that we are simply ‘recycling this issue’ back into the system through continuous mass production of plastic.
Every piece of plastic that has entered the ocean is still there. With the ongoing current of our ocean and the power of our sun, these plastics are then broken down into micro-plastic. At this point we are not just affecting marine life, we are now affecting human life as micro-plastics attract toxins, toxins that allow diseases to breed and spread. Influences from both industrial and agricultural sources release these toxins over many years gradually meeting with micro-plastics.
About 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since the 1950s – the weight of roughly a billion elephants or 47 million blue whales.
Nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute around the world.
Some 18 billion pounds of plastic waste flows into the oceans every year from coastal regions. That’s the equivalent of five grocery bags of plastic trash sitting on every foot of coastline around the world.
The toxins are hydrophobic and float in the surface layer of the ocean. When they come into contact with any of the billions of plastic micro-particles they are adsorbed by the plastic. These plastic particles are being ingested by marine animals and as they do so these toxins are being passed up the food chain, becoming more concentrated as they do, almost like miniature toxic time bombs. Food for thought?
Only about 9% of this plastic has been recycled, 12% has been burned and the remaining 79% has ended up in landfills or the environment.
Crustaceans tested at the ocean’s deepest point, Mariana Trench, had ingested plastic.
The equivalent of a truckload of plastic enters the oceans every minute. So whilst you have been reading this, we here at don’t break reckon one truckload has entered the ocean?