Plastic Pollution: the Numbers

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Did you know that 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans each year? Did you know that twenty countries are responsible for more than 80% of this pollution? The United States is number twenty on that list, responsible for over 750,000 pounds of that plastic. Though we are not nearly as bad as China, who trashes a whopping 2.4 million tons into the water, there are still many ways we can work to cut down our own waste. After all, we Americans do not want to be the best of the worst, do we?

These statistics got me wondering, how many pounds of this plastic can be attributed to sunglasses that have been lost? Though I was unable to find statistics on this specific question, I would be willing to bet the number is not insignificant.

If we keep polluting at the rate we are currently the oceans will see double the amount of plastic in ten years. That means by 2025 we will have a staggering 16 million tons of plastic debris polluting marine habitats. There are floating islands of trash that are now being inhabited by humans – this one is called Migingo – and if we do not drastically change the way we dispose of waste there will be many more like this.

Refer to my earlier posting, Lost and Found: Repurposing, to find some creative ways to recycle and reuse. This is one way to make sure you are doing your part to eliminate waste.

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