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General Information

About 8.3 billion tons of plastic has been produced since the 1950's ... that's the weight of roughly 1 billion elephants.

Only 9% of plastic has been recycled, 12% has been burned, & the remaining 79% has ended up in landfills or the environment.

Up to 12.7 million tons of plastic enters the oceans every year.

The equivalent of a truckload of plastic enters the ocean every minute.

There are five trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans - enough to circle the Earth over 400x

Who is most affected?

Polluted Water

In terms of people: Those living along the rivers and coastlines of the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, China & Indonesia. Henderson Island in the South Pacific is the most plastic polluted of any island recorded to date.

Low-income communities are much more likely to face health impacts due to greater exposure to toxins and waste for many reasons. One example? Improper plastic disposal: Incineration.

9 out of 10 seabirds, 1 in 3 sea turtles, & more than half of whale and dolphin species have ingested plastic. This only calls out a few different species, but I want to make it clear that all marine life is impacted.

Who is to blame?

The United States, Canada, and the UK all export plastic waste to a variety of countries, including Asia & Africa...making it someone else's problem.

Drink companies alone produce over 500 billion single-use plastic bottles per year. While I'm here: Hey Snapple, no one asked for you to switch to plastic bottles, so quit bragging about it like it's a good thing.

Starbucks produces 4 billion coffee cups each year. Start supporting local businesses and get yourself a Keep Cup - ASAP!

Tens of billions of bags of chips are sold by Pepsi Co per year.

500 million straws are produced per day in the United States alone...adding that up, ope, yep, that's more than 1 straw per person, per day.


The annual rate of the production of plastic reached 322 million tons in 2015. This number is expected to double in 2025 and does not include synthetic fibers used in clothing, rope, and other products which accounted for 61 million tons in 2016.

Environment Pollution
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