Harmful effects of plastic pollution is one of the most discussed issues today. With more and more people becoming aware of the adversities that come along with excessive plastic usage, it is increasingly being banned around the world. Some countries are in the process of considering plastic ban that is expected to roll out soon. Moreover, concerned people are now calling for quitting the single-use plastics. Plastic cutlery and straws are being targeted and people are being asked to switch to safer alternatives.
There is a huge amount of data against plastic that has led to all these steps. For consumers to understand why ending plastic use is vital, it is important to know some facts that are listed below.
1. The plastic production across the planet has doubled in the last 5 decades.
According to the World Economic Forum, the plastic producers have increased the plastic production up to threefold foreseeing the plastic ban that is gradually taking effect in all the countries. Global plastic consumption per capita has increased from 2kg per year in 1974 to 43kg per year at present. National Geographic has reported that there will be 12 billion metric tons of plastic in landfills by 2050.
2. Minimal plastic recycling rate worldwide of all the plastic produced since 1950.
Of all the plastic produced since 1950, which is nearly 8.3 billion tons, only 9% has been recycled.
3. Of all the beach litter on the planet, 73% is plastic.
Sadly, beaches across the world are increasingly being spoiled by litter. As reported by National Geographic, 73% of this litter is plastic and includes bottles, food wrappers, grocery bags, cigarette filters, and polystyrene containers.
4. Every minute nearly 2 million plastic bags are being used.
It is shocking that humans are using plastic bags at such an alarming rate. Between 500 billion and 1 trillion plastic bags are known to be used every year. People do not carry
5. A plastic bag is used only for 12 minutes at an average.
Yes, you read that right. A plastic bag that is used for not more than 12 minutes at an average is contributing to plastic pollution, which is all set to lead to another man-made disaster.
6. Every minute over a million plastic bottles are being bought.
According to a report by the Guardian, nearly 1 million plastic bottles are being bought across the world every minute and this number is only expected to rise. Only about 7% of these are being recycled and the rest of them end up in landfills.
7. Plastic Ban is imposed already in some parts of the world.
Foreseeing the adverse effects of plastic, some countries have banned plastic already. Kenya has the toughest laws against plastic use. Some other countries like China, Italy, Rwanda, and France have also imposed a complete or partial ban and have taxed it in many places.
8. Plastic kills about 1.1 million seabirds and animals each year.
Studies have found that birds and animals are dying due to ingestion of plastic. Data from the United Nations has revealed that about 1 million marine birds and 100,000 marine animals are being killed every year due to plastic ingestion. Also, more than 90% of birds and fish have plastic in their stomach.
9. 70,000 microplastics are consumed by an average person every year.
A study published in Environmental Pollution asserts that each person consumes 100 bits of microplastic with every meal.
Above facts are enough to make us switch to a plastic-free lifestyle. If we do not quit using plastic now, we should definitely expect a disaster soon.