Single Use Plastics-
Single use plastics have given us all a lot of convenience bags, food packaging, clothing and so much more. It There are many reasons we use plastic in the way we do, it’s cheap and it works. But one of the main reasons we use is always one of the major issues it’s durability every piece of plastic ever made still exists, with life cycle between 450-1000years.
Since the 1950s, we have created roughly 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic worldwide. Now generating approximately 330 millions tons a year, with 8 million tonnes of the stuff ends up in our seas each year.
According to the U.N. Environment, the most common single-use plastics found in the environment (in order of magnitude) are:
- cigarette butts
- plastic drinking bottles
- plastic bottle caps
- food wrappers
- plastic grocery bags
- plastic lids
- straws and stirrers
- other types of plastic bags
- foam take-away containers
So what does this mean for us and our wildlife
Thousands of animals, from smallest fish to blue whales, die from eating and getting caught in plastic.
Fish are consuming 10s of thousands of tons causing intestinal injury and death. But this means plastic has now entered the food chain. We are eating up to 11,000 plastic fragments in their seafood each year (absorbing < 1%, but adds up over time) causing hormone disruption and cancer.