Despite being invented to bring convenience to the modern world, plastic has created many problems and continues to do so. Micro plastics are polluting our oceans, toxic chemicals are making people sick and the manufacture of everyday products is fuelling climate change in frightening ways. Read on to learn more about the dangers of plastic and how you can play your part in protecting the environment.
Why is plastic bad for the environment?
Plastic is bad for the environment for several reasons. To start, manufacturing plastic requires high volumes of water, which is depleting one of our most precious resources. Then there’s the problem of greenhouse gas emissions which are released every time a plastic product is made. Did we mention the fact that climate change can be directly linked to the above? Everything from rising sea levels to an increased global temperature can be associated with this harmful process.
Plastic pollution facts
How much plastic is in the ocean?
Scientists believe that there are over 5 trillion pieces of plastic debris currently swirling around our oceans. Whether big or small, these individual pieces can bind together and form mounds or islands of plastic, creating untold damage. Micro plastics in particular are poisoning waterways and creating pollution by spreading toxic chemicals. These tiny particles are also responsible for the death of countless marine animals, as they can be easily swallowed.
How much plastic is recycled
The numbers aren’t pretty and point towards some damning statistics. Estimates indicate that of the 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic that has been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons has ended up as plastic waste. Of that, only nine percent has actually been recycled. This means that 79 percent of what has been manufactured over the years is currently sitting in landfill or damaging our planet as litter.