Half of the world’s annual 381 million tonnes of plastic waste is single-use. Join Plastic Free July, a global movement that is challenging hundreds of millions of people to find their own solutions to plastic pollution.
Here are five terrifying facts to encourage you into action.
New research has shown that just twenty companies are responsible for producing more than half of all the single-use plastic waste in the world. Some of the world’s leading banks fund these twenty companies, among them, Barclays, HSBC, Bank of America, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase.
The UK is 4th on the list of countries generating the most single-use plastic waste on a per capita basis: 44 kg per person annually. Only Australia, the US and South Korea create more single use plastic waste than we do. Surely we can do better than this.
Big oil companies, including ExxonMobil, the world’s largest producer of throwaway plastic, are increasing their output of plastic to buffer their investment against the possibility that a global response to climate change might reduce demand for fossil fuels. In other words the big oil companies are not planning to reduce the amount of sequestered carbon they dig out of the ground; they are just planning to turn it into plastic instead of petrol.
The World Economic Forum predicts plastic production will double in the next 20 years.
Only 9% of all the plastic waste ever produced has been recycled. About 12% has been incinerated, while the other 79% has accumulated in landfills, dumps or in the oceans.
To join Plastic Free July click here
Header image: Plastic washed up on a beach (CC0) pixabay.com
Other images: recycled plastic bottles (CC0)
gyre by Chris Jordan ((CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Flickr.com
buttercups by DKG