Why Plastic Pollution is Everywhere

27 Apr

Plastic Gets There First

Plastic pollution is ubiquitous, you see it everywhere you go.  This video from the Plastic Pollution Coalition with surfing legends and filmmakers Chris and Keith Malloy shows how their travels around the world to the most remote spots on earth, no matter where they landed, even with no signs of human habitation, plastic pollution was everywhere and had arrived there first.

Plastic Pollution in the Ocean

Here are some facts about Plastic Pollution

  • Plastic bottles take nearly 1000 years to begin composting.
  • Almost every piece of plastic ever made still exists today.
  • An estimated 14 billion pounds of trash, much of it plastic is dumped in the world’s oceans every year.
  • Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea animals each year.
  • At least 80% of plastic bottles are not recycled.
  • In a study conducted by the National Resources Defense Council about one third of the bottled water tested had significant contamination.
  • Americans generate more than 10.5 million tons of plastic waste a year but recycle only 1 or 2 % of it.
  • Midway Atoll is home to two-thirds (1.5 million) of the global population of Laysan Albatross. Nearly all of these albatross have plastic in their digestive system and one-third of their chicks die from plastic pollution ingestion.
  • 24 million gallons of oil are needed to produce a billion plastic bottles.
  • The world’s annual consumption of plastic has increased from around 5 million tons in the 50’s to nearly 100 million tons today.
  • The federal standards for tap water are higher than those for bottled water.
  • It takes about 72 billion gallons of water a year just to make the empty plastic bottles.
  • Bottling and shipping water is the least energy efficient method ever used to supply water.
  • The shipment of bottled water burns huge amounts of fossil fuel, a weekly convoy of 37,000 18-wheeler trucks.
  • 25 percent of bottled water comes from a municipal supply.The water is treated, purified and sold  at a thousand times the price.
  • According to the Beverage Marketing Corp, the average American consumed 1.6 gallons of bottled water in 1976. In 2006, that number had jumped to 28.3 gallons.
  • Consumers spend an estimated $7 billion on bottled water in the US each year.
  • Imagine a water bottle filled one quarter of the way up with oil.  That’s about how much oil was needed to produce the bottle.

(Sources: EPA, National Geographic, Readers Digest, Sierra Club, About.com, Earth 911)

Bottled water is the second most popular beverage in the United States, carbonated soft drinks are number one.

For more on why you shouldn’t buy or use bottled water unless you have no other choice, see this video on The Story of Bottled Water on The Story of Stuff website.  It is a must watch and you’ll understand why, in most places, it is unnecessary and the companies selling you water are taking you.

5 Responses to “Why Plastic Pollution is Everywhere”

  1. garlo August 17, 2011 at 5:51 am #

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  2. Shannon Rae McKenzie July 2, 2012 at 4:53 am #

    This is so sad – it makes my heart hurt. Now that I have read this article I will share what I know and do My Part in every area that I can.
    Thank you,
    Shannon Rae

  3. Http://www.Balisuryadivecenter.com/ August 2, 2013 at 6:07 am #

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