There’s a lot we could tell you about plastic and its impact on our planet. Here are 10 facts to explain why tackling plastic pollution is so critical.

  1. 10 essential plastic factsThe world produces over 400 million tonnes of plastic every year – of which half is made for single use (source: UN Environment). And at current rates production could see a four-fold increase by 2050.
  2. Of all the plastic waste that has been generated in the world, around 9% has been recycled, 12% incinerated and 79% is in landfills or the natural environment (source: The Guardian)
  3. Eight million tonnes of freshly discarded plastic ends up in our oceans every year – by 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in our sea by weight (source: UN Environment)
  4. If plastic consumption increases at its current rate, by 2050 there will be 12 billion metric tons of plastic in landfill or the natural environment (source: Science Advances).
  5. Three-quarters (73%) of all beach litter is plastic. The litter includes filters from cigarette butts, bottles, bottle caps, food wrappers, grocery bags, and polystyrene containers (source: National Geographic)
  6. Plastics consistently also make up 60 to 90% of all marine debris with recent studies revealing marine plastic pollution in 100% of marine turtles, 59% of whales, 36% of seals and 40% of seabird species examined (source: Surfers against Sewage)
  7. Over 150 plastic bottles litter each mile of UK beaches (source: Surfers against Sewage)
  8. Plastic bottles are now the number one source of waterway pollution in Europe (EarthWatch Europe/Plastic Oceans UK)
  9. Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes and then can take 500 years or more to decompose (source: The Center for Biological Diversity)
  10. However, in the UK, the introduction of a 5p plastic bag charge in 2015 has brought about an 83% reduction in plastic bag use (source: Ecowatch) – showing that government legislation to curb plastic

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