Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Circa 1950 — Plastic weds humanity: Till death do us apart!

Here are some facts about our friend turned foe:

The thing to understand is there is no such thing as "away" when it comes to plastic. Often people think that because it's no longer in our home, in our work place or in our car, it has "gone away". Not true! It just means we no longer see it on a daily basis and it’s somewhere else on this planet. Out of sight, out of mind, and not our problem! How wrong can we be! Remember the 26th July floods?

We've used plastic only since the 1950s. With scientists estimating that each plastic item could last in the environment anywhere between 400 to 1000 years, it's all still here. Our plastic consumption, which is already estimated to be about 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags a year worldwide, is growing at an alarming rate. Moreover, nearly every piece of plastic EVER made still exists today.

Plastics do not biodegrade; they photo-degrade, breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil, waterways, oceans and entering the food chain when ingested by animals.

Scare Statistics:
Plastic production uses 8% of the entire world's oil.
The world currently produces 200 million tons of plastic a year. Around half of this is used for disposable packaging that is discarded within a year.
96 % of the world’s waste plastic is not recycled. This debris accumulates in landfills before being dumped into the sea.
An estimated 14 billion pounds of trash, much of it plastic is dumped in the world's oceans every year.
Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures every year
Excess packaging is not just bad for the environment but for your pocket too. Studies carried out in 2007 established that excess packaging costs the average UK family about GBP 470 a year. (London.gov.uk) (BBCNews)

Plastic News, Facts, Myths, Bans and more:

- Primus, edited by Averil

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