It’s Out of Control

  • One-time use plastic accounts for 50% of the plastic we use. 
  • More plastic has been produced in the last 10 years then in the entire last century.
  • Every year Americans throw out 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups. 
  • There are 46,000 floating pieces of plastic per square mile on the surface of the ocean.
  • In the U.S. we account for 4.4% of the world’s population.  However, we account for 18% of the world’s waste.
  • The average American throws out 4.4 pounds per day.  This number was 3.7 in 1980 and 2.7 in 1960.
  • In the year 2014 alone, so many Keurig coffee pods were made that if placed side by side they would circle the earth 10.5 times.

 

Plastic Bags 

  • Every year about 500 billion plastic bags are used globally.  
  • Every minute more than 1 million plastic bags are used.
  • Every second 160,000 plastic bags are used worldwide. 
  • Every year 5 trillion plastic bags are produced.
  • If you counted one per second it would take you 158,548.95 years to count the plastic bags made in one year!!!
  • Laying this amount of plastic bags side by side would wrap around the earth SEVEN times!!!

 

Plastic Bottles

  • Every hour Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles.
  • Only 27% of plastic bottles are actually recycled.
  • Every year Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles and that’s just water bottles.

 

It Doesn’t Go Away

  • Every piece of plastic that has ever been created is still exists in some shape or form!
  • Plastic doesn’t biodegrade, it photodegrades.
  • The Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
    • Located between California and Hawaii
    • Weighs 3.5 million tons
    • Twice the size of Texas
    • Plastic pieces out number the sea life 6 to 1.
    • Microorganisms that break down natural compounds do not recognize plastic as food. Instead the UV Rays from the sun break down the plastic into smaller even micro pieces.

It’s Toxic 

  • As sunlight slowly breaks up ocean plastic into tiny pieces and particles it becomes a huge problem for filter feeding animals (such as clams, krill and whales). Biotoxins like PCBs (Polychlorinated biphenyl) get passed up the food chain, and humans are at the top of this chain. 
  • BPA (Bisphenol A) another plastic chemical is found in 93% of Americans age 6 and older. This chemical creates a hormone imbalance because it acts like additional estrogen, which leads to weight gain, emotional stress (mood swings and depression), inflammation, increased size in breast tissue.

  

It Hurts

  • Every year 1,000,000 sea creatures are killed by the plastic garbage that is thrown into the ocean.
  • In every species of sea turtle, 22% of whale and dolphin species, 44% of seabird species, and an ever-growing list of fish species have all been found with plastic inside their body or tangled around it.

 

Recycling Isn’t Good Enough 

  • Globally only 85% of plastic used is NOT recycled.
  • Recycling plastic cost twice as much as disposal.
  • In 2005 the US alone used 30 billion water bottles.
    • 12% were recycled
    • 100 bottles per second were recycled
    • BUT 840 bottles were discarded per second
    • This number has multiplied in the last decade, recycling just can’t keep up with the amount of waste we produce.

 

The Price

  • Plastic production uses about 8% of all oil production.
  • There is a $13 billion price tag for the environmental damaged caused by the plastic floating around the oceans. 
  • Cleaning up the Pacific coastline costs Oregon, Washington and California, $500 million a year.
  • Cost of bottled water
    • 10% water
    • 90% packaging, marketing, bottling and shipping

 

Can we make a difference?

We have to change our behavior, or at current rates there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish by the year 2050!