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8 shocking facts about plastic pollution

Time 2 min read · May 22, 2019

By David Carlisle

8 shocking facts about plastic pollution

1. We make a lot of plastic

8 shocking facts about plastic pollution is firstly, 8.3 BILLION tonnes of plastic has been produced since plastic was introduced in the 1950s. The amount of plastic produced in a year is roughly the same as the entire weight of the human population (300 million tonnes).

2. Shocking facts about plastic pollution is plastic NEVER goes away

Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated.

8 shocking facts about plastic pollution

Plastic pollution on the beach

3.  Only 9% of plastic is recycled

So yes that means that 91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled. And since most plastics don’t biodegrade in any meaningful sense, all that plastic waste could exist for hundreds or even thousands of years ?

4. We just love our plastic bottles!

ONE MILLION plastic bottles are bought EVERY MINUTE around the world and that number will top half a TRILLION by 2021. Less than half of those bottles end up getting recycled.

5. Stop forgetting your bags for life

Nearly TWO MILLION single-use plastic bags are distributed worldwide every minute. In Northern Ireland last year shops gave out around 100 million plastic bags, that’s 139 per household. How many have you got in THAT drawer in the kitchen? 

6. Plastic is an astronomically large problem

There is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way.

7. Oceans of plastic are covering our world

8 MILLION tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans each year. That’s enough to cover every foot of coastline around the world with five full rubbish bags of plastic and it’s getting worse every year.

8. Shocking fact about plastic pollution is we need to do something

If plastic production isn’t reduced and or halted, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish by 2050.

Take a look at our 4 easy ways you can reduce plastics in your everyday life.

Make a Habit, Make a Change, Beating Plastics is Easier than you Think

Unfortunately we’re all getting so used to seeing the terrible images of plastic pollution around the world, that we’re almost becoming immune to them. Even statistics that tell us how EVERYDAY approx. 8 million tonnes of plastic finds its way into our oceans, have lost their ability to shock. That’s why we created #OneSmallThingMyNI to highlight some of the small everyday things you can do to reduce your use of plastic in the hope that together we can motivate and encourage others to reduce, reuse and recycle too.

4 Easy Ways to Reduce Plastic Every Day

Take action today!

We hope, you’ll share our passion for the environment and want to do something to give the planet a helping hand yourself. We want to inspire you to get curious about and get involved with actions that will be good for nature, our local habitats and species, for ourselves and ultimately for our planet.

Get involved