46,000 pieces of plastic trash float in every square mile of ocean
5.25 TRILLION pieces of plastic are estimated to be floating on the surface of the Earth's oceans.
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8 MILLION TONS of plastic enter the ocean each year, harming and even killing marine life. We are in the middle of an unsustainable expansion of our use of plastic. 300 MILLION TONS of plastic were produced in 2012 and the number has been growing by roughly 8% a year. So much of this waste is single use plastic. Single use plastics are items that have a short life span, typically only used for a few minutes. These include straws, to-go containers, produce bags and many more. 500 MILLION straws are used EVERY day in the USA. This is equivalent to filling 125 school buses every day with straws. These are not recyclable. They are either sitting in a landfill, floating in the ocean or lying on the ground. What's worse, plastic takes up the most volume in landfills and does not decompose, making it the most harmful type of waste.
Due to the magnitude of production and the lack of infrastructure for proper disposal, only a small percentage of plastic is recycled: the world average is under 10%. That leaves millions of tons of plastics heading to landfills across the globe. Not only is this an unsustainable solution, it is causing the leeching of chemicals into our air and soil. Plastic leeching also excretes chemical run-off to waterways and oceans, further damaging our natural resources.
"I sometimes think that there is a malign force loose in the universe that is the social equivalent of cancer, and it’s plastic. It infiltrates everything. It’s metastasis. It gets into every single pore of productive."
—Norman Mailer, Harvard Magazine, 1983
Scientists have been aware of the ever growing plastic waste problem since 1973. Publishing concern in papers and research began in 1983 and yet today we produce more plastic at an annual growth rate of 4% each year. Starting at 1.5 million metric tons in the 50's, we now produce over 300 million metric tons today. We need your support to change the direction of plastic production!
Start the ripple of action and please consider donating to Plastic Ocean Project .
The Polymer Plastics Company describes plastics: "Like any material, plastics have their origins in nature, in such basic chemical elements as carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, chlorine, or sulfur. These materials are extracted from nature's storehouse of air, water, gas, oil, coal, and even plants." This makes plastic sound natural, but what they don't tell you is that these elements are "forced" together by man instead of nature. Consequently nature does not know what to do with these compounds causing them to persistent indefinitely meanwhile wreaking havoc in our oceans.
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