Plastic has been our saviour over the past decade, the bags help us carry our shopping home, plastic wrapping covers our food and it’s often just too convenient for its own good. But this saviour, for it’s durability, flexibility and indestructibility is also our worst enemy.
What far too many don’t realise is that plastic has a long life cycle – somewhere between 450 to 1000 years – before it even starts to break down. And even when that does start to happen it then only fragments – it’s not going anywhere, it’s just getting smaller.
. Here are ten facts about plastic that goes some way to highlight the real scale of the problem we are facing with plastic pollution across the planet.
1. We have produced more plastic in the last ten years than in the 40 years since its invention.
2. In our oceans, each year a whopping 100,000 marine mammals and 1 million sea birds are killed from plastic related issues.
3. Plastic chemicals can be absorbed by our body, and often makes its way into the human food chain through the fish we consume that have mistaken it for food. The chemicals from plastic are absorbed in the fats and muscles – the bits we like to eat – and we end up affected by it as a direct result.
4. Plastic contains compounds that have been found to alter hormones in the human body and cause all sorts of serious health issues.
5. Plastic makes up at least 10 percent of the total waste we produce on earth. Staggering!
6. 50 percent of the plastic we use, is not recycled. Used once and then thrown away.
7. 160,000 plastics bags are used every second around the world.
8. While I am writing this, 2,378,972,789,938 plastic bags have been produced this year.