10 Shocking Facts About Plastic Pollution

1) Every single year, around 8 MILLION tons of plastic waste seeps into the oceans from coastal nations around the world. To put that in perspective that is equivalent to dumping 5 bags of trash off every foot of coastline around the globe.

Beach Garbage

2) It is predicted that drinks companies alone produce over 500 billion single-use plastic bottles each and every year. Of those bottles we know that most are not recycled. Surfers against sewage estimated that over 150 plastic bottles are littering each mile of UK beaches.

Plastic Bottle Pollution

3) It is estimated that up to 9 out of 10 seabirds, 1 in 3 sea turtles and more than 50% of dolphin & whale species have ingested plastic. We have seen an increase in deaths due to sea creatures ingesting plastic pollution. Frequently in the news we see whales washed up with stomachs full of plastic, sea turtles that have choked on plastic bags and dolphins drowned in ghost fishing gear. 

[Figures from Greenpeace]

Sea Turtle Underwater

4) There are more microplastics in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way. It is estimated that there are 100-400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, in contrast to that researchers have predicted that there could be as many as 51 trillion microplastics in our ocean.

Plastic Pollution

5) Did you know that a plastic bag is, on average, used for just 12 minutes. And around the world about 2 million plastic bags are used every single minute. That is a whole lot of plastic bags, that can take up to 400 years to break down, if they don't end up in the ocean to be eaten by a sea turtle.

Plastic Bag

6) Plastic pollution is accumulated in rivers around the world and washed into the ocean. Once it reaches the ocean it floats around in the coastal waters until it is finally caught up in an ocean current and swept out to the open oceans and around the world. There are a few 'garbage patches' in a number of different oceans, the largest and most well known being the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

Seagull on Plastic in the Ocean

7) As the news of plastic pollution in the ocean has spread around the world a number of bans have been introduced in an effort to reduce plastic waste. For example is you are caught producing, selling, or using a plastic bag in Kenya you can expect fines of $40,000 or even imprisonment for up to 4 years!

Plastic Bag in Water

8) Every year, 1 million seabirds are killed due to plastic pollution and over 100,000 marine mammals. This can be due to ingesting plastic or getting entangled in ghost gear, which often results in drowning.

[Information from Surfers Against Sewage]

Sea Birds

9) A Greenpeace report has found that fishing equipment makes up over 85% of the plastic pollution on the seafloor and ocean ridges. In the Great Pacific Garbage Patch it is estimated that 46% of the 79 thousand tons of plastic pollution is made up of fishing nets, some as large as football fields!

Fishing Nets

10) Since 1950s over 9 billion tons of plastic has been produced. Of that a mer 9% has been recycled and 12% has been incinerated. Which means that 79% of all plastic ever made is still out there, either sitting in landfills, floating down rivers, littering countrysides or polluting our ocean.

Seal with Fishing Gear Around Them

Bonus Fact!

Did you know that the most polluted island on record is an uninhabited island; Henderson Island in the South Pacific. Along a 2.5 km stretch of beach, an estimated 18 tonnes of plastic has accumulated over decades!

Trash on the Beach

Join The Mission To Protect Our Oceans From Single Use Plastic!

Here at Ocean Helper we are on a mission to protect the worlds oceans from the nightmare that is single use plastic. Our Clean Ocean Campaign is a group pledge to say no to single use, and work to reduce plastic in our everyday lives. We have loads of great resources available and an incredible community who all work together to support each other. 

Get your FREE Ocean Helper Surf Bracelet today, these are a representation and a reminder of the pledge you have made to protect our oceans. Join the thousands of other Ocean Helpers, all committed to saving the ocean! Click here or on the image below.

Customer Surf Bracelet Image

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