DO SOMETHING DRASTIC, CUT THE PLASTIC!
WHAT IS PLASTIC?
Plastic is extremely useful as we use it from clothing to crisp packets and making items from plastic has become popular as there are many different types of plastic that can be made into different shapes, colours, and sizes.
Research estimated that more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since the early 1950s. As the amount of plastic produced globally each year has increased exponentially in just a human lifetime. From 2 million tonnes in 1950 to 367 million tonnes in 2020 (Statista, 2021).
However, individuals have become addicted to single-use or disposable plastic which has severe environmental consequences. In total, half of all plastic produced is meant to be used only once - and then thrown away.
THE PROBLEM WITH PLASTIC
petroleum meaning it does not rot, like paper or food, so instead it can hang around the environment for hundreds of years.
With 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic been produced since the early 1950s, a staggering 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled. Also, 12% has been incinerated, while the rest at 79% has been accumulated in landfills, dumps, or the natural environment (UN Environment, 2021).
Did you know that approximately 5.6 trillion cigarettes with cigarette filters that contain tiny plastic fibres are manufactured globally each year, and were the most common type of plastic waste found in the environment from a recent global survey (PMI, 2020).
Also drink bottles, bottle caps, food wrappers, grocery bags, drink lids, straws and stirrers were the next most items that were found in the environment (UN Environment, 2021).
As many of us use these single-use plastic products every day, without even taking a second though about where they might end up after we discard them.
The same properties that make plastics so effective – their robustness and resistance to degradation which makes them practically impossible for nature to completely break down. As most plastic items never entirely disappear. And they just get smaller and smaller, these tiny plastic particles called ‘microplastics’ are swallowed by farm animals or fishes who mistaken them for food, and consequently can find their way onto our dinner plates.
Additionally, over a lifetime, we will consume about 20kg (44 lb) of microplastic (Reuters, 2020).
THESE 10 RIVERS THAT CARRY MORE THAN 90% OF PLASTIC THAT ENDS UP IN THE OCEANS
PLASTIC THAT ENDS UP IN THE OCEAN
An astonishing 8 million metric tonnes of plastic are thrown into the ocean annually. And out of the 8 million metric tonnes, about 236,000 tonnes are microplastics which is tiny pieces of broken-down plastic that’s smaller than your little fingernail (Earth Day, 2018).
If we continue with this current trend that by 2050, our oceans could contain more plastic than fish, if we don’t do something drastic, to cut the plastic!