The Plastic Problem

Every year, 11 million metric tons of plastic enters the ocean. That’s equivalent to one truckload dumped into the sea every minute of the day.

How did plastic become a problem?

Globally, we produce a massive amount of plastic – over 380 million tons every year. It’s everywhere in our daily lives and we’ve become dependent on it. Half of all plastic produced is single-use – meaning it’s thrown away after just one use. Think bottles, bags, straws, cups and lids.

Used for just a few moments, but forever on the planet – all plastic that has ever been produced still exists today. We thought recycling was the answer but it’s not. It’s estimated that less than 9% of all plastic has been recycled!

What’s plastics impact?

When plastic enters the ocean, it impacts us all. It’s in the food and water we consume, it’s harming our animals and marine life, and of course, polluting our ocean.

Once at sea, sunlight, wind, and wave action break down plastic waste into small particles, called microplastics. Microplastics have been found in every corner of the globe, from Mount Everest, the highest peak, to the Mariana Trench, the deepest trough.

Because plastic is so prevalent, there are countless (overwhelming) statistics on its impact. Here are some key facts we feel are important to share…

What’s plastics impact?

When plastic enters the ocean, it impacts us all. It’s in the food and water we consume, it’s harming our animals and marine life, and of course, polluting our ocean.

Once at sea, sunlight, wind, and wave action break down plastic waste into small particles, called microplastics. Microplastics have been found in every corner of the globe, from Mount Everest, the highest peak, to the Mariana Trench, the deepest trough.

Because plastic is so prevalent, there are countless (overwhelming) statistics on its impact. Here are some key facts we feel are important to share…

Plastic By the Numbers

Millions of marine animals die each year from plastic waste alone.

Plastic pollutes at every step of its journey and it never disappears – breaking up into tinier and tinier pieces called microplastics.

Plastic is literally everywhere. It’s in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink. Scientists have even found it inside our bodies.

Today, more than 99% of plastic is made from fossil fuels.

Just 9% of all plastic ever produced has been recycled.

What can you do?

We can all be part of the solution on plastic pollution.

Here are four simple ways you can have an impact, starting today!

1

Answer Free the Ocean’s daily trivia question:
This simple action funds the removal of plastic from the ocean and coastlines and can be done everyday and from anywhere.

2

Shop Sustainably: One of the biggest impacts you can have is to reduce the amount of plastic you use in your daily life. For almost every plastic product you use, there’s a plastic-free alternative. To help you get started, check out our sustainable products.

3

Say ‘No’ to Single-Use: By refusing to purchase single-use plastic you are showing the big corporations producing the plastic that you want change. Every purchase you make is a vote with your dollar. 

4

Start Conversations: Talk with your friends, families, neighbors, and local businesses, about
the plastic issue and how we all can be part of
the solution. 

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Plastic By the numbers