While we aim to keep this movement positive and solution-focused, it is important to keep up-to-date with the current challenges, and remind ourselves why we are purging the plastic from our daily lives. Let’s start by taking a closer look at where plastic pollution can end up:
When analyzing the worlds most popular brands of bottled water, scientists found tiny pieces of plastic in more than 90% of them. In one bottle of Nestlé Pure Life, concentrations were as high as 10,000 plastic pieces per litre of water.
The Environmental Working Group revealed that ADA (a plastic chemical used in flip-flops) was found in 500 foods in the U.S, which could increase the risk of inflammatory diseases amongst other health problems.
The ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ or ‘Plastic Island’ is the name given to one of the largest masses of plastic waste in the ocean. While one may say that the label of a country or even an island, may be a tad overzealous, it is now three times the size of France.
BPA is a chemical commonly used in consumer plastics and is found in more than 90% of the U.S population. Recent discoveries have revealed that adults with the highest levels of BPA are twice as likely to suffer from coronary heart disease.
BPA chemicals are also found in 80% of teens where they can upset their hormone production. BPAs can mimic estrogen, lower a male’s sperm count, and cause erectile dysfunction, among other sexual health problems. The chemical is also linked to several different types of cancer, including breast and prostate.
A recent study revealed that over 200 chemicals, including BPA, have been found in umbilical cord blood. This means that plastic chemicals are now present at incredibly vital stages of fetal development.
In addition to where plastic ends up, it’s important to look at the current rates of plastic production, and the grossly insufficient rate of recapture and recycling. Here are some facts from EcoWatch:
- Plastic in the ocean breaks down into such small segments that pieces of plastic from a one litre bottle could end up on every mile of beach throughout the world.
- Americans throw away 35 billion water bottles every year.
- Plastic constitutes approximately 90% of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface, with 46,000 pieces per square mile.
- More than one million plastic bags are used every minute.
- 50% of the plastic we use, we use just once and throw away.
- Over the last ten years we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
- We only recover 5% percent of the plastic we produce.
- Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form.
- Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times.
- And, as noted in a recent Guardian article, plastic production is set to increase by 40% over the next decade.
SO WHAT NOW?
The time for speculation and blame is over. Now is the time for positive direct action. View our HOW page to see how we can easily work together to stop adding to the problem while simultaneously recapturing and recycling the current mess. Let’s do this!