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Happy Earth Day!

Plastic Ain’t so Fantastic

It is now believed that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. (1)

Shoppers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year.

This translates to about a million bags every minute across the globe, or 150 bags a year for every person on earth.  And the number is rising.

  • If you joined them end on end they would circumnavigate the globe 4,200 times.
  • 100,000 marine creatures a year die from plastic entanglement and these are the ones found.
  • Approximately 1 million sea birds also die from plastic.
  • A plastic bag can kill numerous animals because they take so long to disintegrate. An animal that dies from the bag will decompose and the bag will be released, another animal could harmlessly fall victim and once again eat the same bag.
  • The floods in Bangladesh in 1988 & 1998 were made more severe because plastic bags clogged drains. The government has now banned plastic bags.
  • In Ireland they introduced a 15c plastic bag tax and reduced their usage by 90% in one year. It is now 22 cents.
  • The #1 man made thing that sailors see in our ocean are plastic bags.
  • There are believed to be 46,000 pieces of plastic in every square mile of ocean.
  • There are 5 ocean gyres in the world where plastic gathers due to current circulation. These gyres contain millions of pieces of plastic and our wildlife feed in these grounds.
  • It can take anything between 20-1000 years for a plastic bag to break up. I mean break up as they break up into smaller pieces. They don’t break down and those that do, break down into polymers and toxic chemicals.
  • It costs US$4,000 to recycle 1 tonne of plastic bags and you get a product that can be sold on the commodities market for US$32. We must stop them because recycling is not viable.
  • It takes just 4 family shopping trips to accumulate 60 shopping bags.
  • World wide, 13,000-15,000 pieces of plastic are dumped into the ocean every day.
  • Every year, 6.4 million tonnes are dumped into the ocean. This is the same as 3,200 kilometres of trucks each loaded with garbage.
  • At least two thirds of the world’s fish stocks are suffering from plastic ingestion.
  • Ocean acidification is a growing problem
  • Scientists have identified 200 areas declared as ‘dead zones’ where no life organisms can now grow.
  • Read more at http://oceancrusaders.org/plastic-crusades/plastic-statistics

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26 thoughts on “Happy Earth Day!”

  1. Egads! how is it that we still use plastic knowing this? One day, we’ll choke on our mountains of plastic wishing it were a fishbone instead. At least a fishbone can be nutritious if not a little hard to swallow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Back in the days when supermarkets handed out non-reusable plastic bags for free there used to be so many blowing around in the wind. Those days are long past but I hope it’s not too little, too late.
    It’s awful to think of all that plastic swirling around in the oceans 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Morgaine. It was hard to click the “like” button, but thank you for sharing all of these sobering statistics. Unfortunately, I fear things will get worse for the environment rather than better, especially with the idiots we have in charge of the U.S. government.

    One of my favorite commercials from several years ago featured a native American (we used to call them Indians) standing beside a stream polluted with trash. He never spoke a word, but tears trickled down his cheeks. It was a powerful statement.

    Connie is big on reading ingredients statements on food. Would you believe some brands of ice cream have plastic in it too?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s horrendous, the damage we earthlings have managed to do, collectively, to our precious planet. Tiny bit of progress here – they’ve banned plastic bags in our city (Montreal), to take effect in June. Yay!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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