Problem Plastics

Global Volume of Plastic Waste

2010 Data, Plastics Europe – ‘Plastics, the Facts 2013’

Million Metric Tons

Plastic Dumped In The Oceans

2010 Data, Plastics Europe – ‘Plastics, the Facts 2013’

Million Metric Tons

Bad News

The data above is the amount of plastic rubbish which has been produced and the amount of plastic rubbish which has entered our oceans in just one year –  2010.   It is likely that as much plastic waste or more has entered the oceans EVERY YEAR since.   The plastic rubbish accumulates mainly in 5 ocean garbage patches, the largest one being the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, located between Hawaii and California. If left to circulate, the plastic will impact our ecosystems, health and economies. Solving it requires a combination of closing the source, and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean.  It is also estimated that micro plastics, which cannot be seen, are increasing in every ocean.

FACTS:

1.   It takes 450 years for one small plastic bottle to decompose in the oceans.

2.  It is estimated that a famous cola drinks company produce 1.7 billion plastic bottles per day!

The seahorse picture by Jason Hofman went viral in 2017 – and shows a seahorse clinging to a cotton bud and other plastic waste. Seahorses are endangered, and It is estimated that they will be extinct in the next 10 years.

Good News

We don’t have to use cotton buds with a plastic stick in the middle.   Look out for the ecological friendly bamboo or wood ones – probably more expensive – but if we all buy them we could get the prices down.

What the Next Generation can Achieve

An invention by a young Dutch boy is now in operation:   see www.theoceancleanup.com

The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. A full-scale deployment of our systems is estimated to clean up 50 % of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 years

Estimated Range Of Plastic Waste Floating On The Surface Of Our Oceans

Cozar et al, 2014, Ersken et al 2014

Metric Tons

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Metric Tons