Do you know single use plastic facts? Please, Think about this: every single piece of plastic that’s ever been made is still there somewhere. This consists of our vehicles, our spaceships, and even medical equipment. This explains why plastic is the most widespread type of pollution, found on mountains and on the ocean floor.
But it’s also cheap, which makes a lot of people use it for single-use purposes. But single-use plastics choke our natural environment. It’s up to us to refuse single-use plastics. Here are some of single use plastic facts that will make you rethink your options.
Single Use Plastic Facts You Need to Know
- Not all plastic waste will pollute the natural environment, but even in landfills, plastic can be dangerous.
- Plastics that sit on top of the landfill can be carried away by animals or by the wind. Buried plastics can sometimes release harmful pollutants into soil and water.
- Plastics which end up in the oceans are in a huge amount up to million tonnes
- An astonishing 32% of the 78 million tonnes of plastic packaging that are produced reach the ocean every year.
- That’s the equivalent of 1 garbage truck dumping plastic straight into the ocean every minute! If we don’t do something, it is likely that this will double by 2030 and double again by 2050.
- Single-use plastics account for half of all plastic discarded
- Waste packaging accounts for more than half of plastics discarded and more than 42% of non-fiber plastics (such as polyester) are produced annually.
- Worldwide, 500 billion single-use cups are used each year
- 25 billion Styrofoam cups are thrown away each year in the United States alone. Styrofoam is not completely recyclable, which means most of it will end up in landfill. In 500 years, the styrofoam that was discarded will still be around.
- 500,000 disposable plastic straws are used every day. These straws, like all single-use plastics, are often not recycled and can cause serious damage to the natural environment. A growing number of companies and cities around the world are banning single-use plastic straws.
- When shopping, do you bring your own reusable bag? As much as 4 trillion plastic bags are used each year worldwide. Although most grocery stores offer plastic bag recycling, only 1% of these bags are recycled.
- Without we realize, we buy 1 million plastic bottles every minute worldwide. Although most plastic bottles are recyclable, only about 23% are ultimately recycled. In the United States, an average person uses 13 plastic bottles every month. If we all chose to use reusable bottles, we could each save about 156 plastic bottles from entering the waste stream each year!
- There are only a handful of organisms in the world that have been shown to cause plastic to break down. Most microorganisms are unable to process and destroy plastics. This means that it can take hundreds, even thousands of years for one plastic bottle in landfills or left in the natural environment to decompose into something that can be used by the ecosystem.
- What if you know the fact that 10% of all the plastic we use ends up in the ocean? It doesn’t matter which part of the world you visit; plastic can be found on almost every beach. The ocean is filled with plastic waste.
Plastic and Disposable Pollution
Although single-use plastic pollution accumulates most prominently on our roads, in reality our water is suffering more. Garbage can be the first stage in a waste stream entering waterways as plastic dumped onto the roads is washed away by rain or travels through rainwater drains into rivers and streams. The plastic pollution of our waterways is highly concentrated: Only ten rivers carry 93 percent of the world’s total plastic that enters the oceans via rivers every year.
In 2015, researchers from the University of Georgia estimated that between 4.8 million and 12.7 million metric tons of plastic per year entered the oceans via people living within 30 miles of the coast. The majority of this pollution – dominated by single-use plastic waste – comes from countries that lack the infrastructure to manage waste properly, particularly in Asia. India, for example, produces 25,940 tonnes of plastic waste every day, but only collects 60 percent of it.
It’s also important to remember that waste management is only one part of the global materials cycle. For example, much of the plastic produced in Asian countries is for products that cater to US demands – and the United States often sends plastic waste back to that country for recycling. .
A recent study found that about 90 percent of sea birds tested gut contain plastic and 100 percent of turtles. Worryingly, scientists predict that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by weight by 2050.Not only is plastic estimated to kill millions of marine animals and seabirds each year, but it also contaminates the seafood humans have relied on for thousands of years, especially with microplastics in the intestines of animals.
Our addiction to plastics also negatively impacts the climate. A recent report shows that plastic production contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases that warm the planet at every point in its life cycle. The drilling process for plastics, oil and gas sources leads to methane leakage and burning and is often combined with clearing forests and wetlands that would otherwise sequester carbon.
Refineries where crude oil is turned into plastic are one of the most greenhouse gas intensive industries in the manufacturing sector. And “cracker plants” – which break down, or “break,” molecules of ethane, a component of natural gas, into the chemical building blocks of plastic products – are wasteful of energy and highly polluting.
In 2015, only 24 of the ethane cracker facilities in the United States had a combined carbon output of 3.8 million passenger vehicles. And the recent fracking boom, which has resulted in an oil surplus, has also fueled an increase in cracker factories.
Those are some of single use plastic facts. By reading this you might become more concern about the environment and rethink to use them wisely.