How Plastic Pollution Affects Our Planet: From Mountain Top to Ocean Floor

It’s well documented that household plastics are a huge threat to our environment. According to Earthday.org, It’s estimated that world plastic production stands at around 340 million metric tonnes, with half of annual plastic production destined for single-use products.

Just to add a little more perspective to that, it’s estimated that one million plastic bottles are sold per minute and 4 trillion plastic bags are produced annually – 100 billion of which are thrown away in the US alone. It’s a pretty eye-opening thought, isn’t it?

Though small, single-use plastics are a very large and very real issue. Devastating habitats, killing wildlife and some recent studies have even discovered microplastics in drinking water.

The production of plastic seems relentless, and while alternatives are being produced and households and businesses take a more environmentally friendly approach to their own plastic waste, it doesn’t detract from the fact that a lot of damage has already been done.

In this post, we wanted to highlight just how severe the problem has become and just how widespread the issue of single-use plastics and plastic pollution is in general. It’s a frightening fact that it really does seem that nowhere is safe from harm.

Interesting facts about plastic pollution

  • HALF OF ALL PLASTICS EVER MADE were manufactured in the last 15 years.
  • It can take 6 months for a single piece of plastic to pass through the digestive tract of a sea turtle.
  • 58% of North Atlantic Right Whale deaths between 2003 and 2018 were caused by entanglement in plastic fishing gear.
  • The average person in the UK uses 150 plastic bottles every year.
  • 14.6 billion cigarette butts are littered each year in the UK alone. 95% of which contain cellulose acetate, a plastic that can take up to 10 years to degrade.
  • ¬†Microplastics can travel by air, polluting areas over 100 kilometres away from their source.
  • 73% of litter found on beaches is plastic.
  • By 2050, it’s anticipated that every seabird on the planet will be eating plastic.
  • In the North Pacific Ocean, there is 6 times more plastic debris than plankton.
  • The manufacturing of plastic uses around 8% of the worlds oil production.

What can we do to reduce plastic pollution?

You might question how you can possibly help with such a dire situation, but there are things you can do that WILL make a difference. Below are a list of simple things every individual can do to help reduce plastic waste:

  • Stop buying bottled water, refill a reusable one instead.
  • Buy secondhand. Not only will it save you a lot of money, but new items often come with heaps of packaging too.
  • Cook more, using fresh produce. Getting takeaways and doggy bags when eating out can produce a lot of packing waste.
  • Recycle. This is pretty obvious, but make a conscious effort to separate your recyclable waste from non-recyclable waste.
  • Buy in bulk. This can reduce the amount of single-use packing required quite dramatically.
  • Take your own reusable shopping bags to the supermarket.
  • Wean yourself off disposable products. Avoid things like plastic wraps and food bags, straws and coffee cups, opting for reusable versions instead.

There are so many things that can be done to help reduce plastic waste, and it doesn’t have to be a complete lifestyle change to begin with either. Starting with the basics is a great way to help reduce plastic waste and you’ll be extremely surprised by the difference it can make.

You’re welcome to use the infographic for your own content, all we ask is that you credit Climadoor as the original source.

 

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