Worrisome Statistics and Facts about Plastic Pollution

Plastic pollution is increasingly becoming one of the prominent issues across the world. Not only is it harming the environment but is having hazardous effects on the health. Plastic garbage is accumulating in water bodies making them toxic for aquatic life. And this is only exponentially rising with every passing day. Plastic is being so overused in the world of late that a life without it be thought of. Nevertheless, the time has come to ditch the overdependence on this hazardous material and opt for safer alternatives.

To gain more perspective about this problem of plastic pollution, here are some statistics and facts that will make you say no plastic.

1. Nearly 300 million tons of plastic gets produced each year and very sadly, half of it ends up in the garbage after a single use. This figure is only rising.

2. Of all the plastic in use, 40% is created just for the packaging purposes. Majority of it is plastic bags. All of the packaging material is made from single-use plastic and a research has shown that a plastic bag is used for an average of 12 to 15 minutes before being discarded. Over one million plastic bags are used every minute.

3. Water bottles are among the biggest culprits when it comes to accumulation of such huge amounts of plastic litter. More than 55% of all the plastic bottle produced is for water. The number of water bottles sold has risen from 3.8 billion in 1996 to 100 billion in 2014. They alone constitute 14% of all the plastic garbage.

4. Further, a study conducted by the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis has asserted that every year between 4.8 and 12.7 million metric tons of plastic material ends up in oceans. The figure is expected to surge exponentially by 2025, which is a worrisome trend.

5. Plastic takes a very long time to break down in oceans and accumulates on the beaches in the form of small fragments.

6. Data suggests that the Great Pacific Garbage Patch contains plastic that is six times more than the aquatic life in that area. The garbage in the area is not visible to the naked eye or the satellite cameras. Due to the suspended plastic particles that are extremely small in size make the water look cloudy.

7. Over one-seventh of the garbage in the oceans sinks to the bottom and poses a significant threat to the sea life.

8. Plastic is known to be very dangerous to human health as the studies have linked the chemicals present in plastic to hormone-related illness, cardiac issues, and diabetes. The adverse effects of plastic have also been noticed on the brain and reproductive systems. The plastic that ends up in the bodies of fishes and other marine animals is later on consumed by people in the form of seafood.

9. It takes over 500 to 1000 years for plastic to degrade which means all of the plastic ever manufactured except for that incinerated still exists in some form.

10. According to scientific estimates, over one million seabirds are killed due to plastic consumption each year and 100,000 mammals lose their life to the same cause. 44% of the marine bird species are affected by plastic in some way while all of the aquatic life is known to have plastic in or around their bodies. 

11. Plastic garbage has an adverse effect not only on water quality but the micro-particles are found in air, dust, and food as well.

Plastic is making the planet toxic beyond our imagination and if we don’t stop the overuse right now, we are going to pay for it. Switch to the safer alternatives to save whatever of life is present on the planet.

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