Facts About Plastic

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Everyday we use this material in the form of bags, cups, bottles, tubs, buckets, even food packaging and spoons! Today, you can’t find a home without this material. And even so, this is becoming one of the major pollutants that our dumps are filled with. And in fact, ecologists claim that despite being one of the most commonly used component by humans, its natural degradation can take anywhere from a few hundred to a thousand years! Yes, we are talking about “plastic”!!

Fact 1:
According to studies, the US alone is responsible for around 33.6 million tons of plastic on an annual basis. Although there is talk of recycling, the fact is only about 6.5 percent of this actually goes through the process. After lots of initiatives were put in place, another 7.7 percent is used up by waste processing facilities that generate electricity using garbage. The remaining just piles up in our landfills, waiting for another 1000 years, just to decompose!

Fact 2:
Thanks to humans, it is not just our land surface filling up with plastics! It is believed that our oceans have also been polluted with around 100 million tons of plastic waste. They don’t just add junk to our oceans but also disturb the ecological balance of the ocean, affecting marine life adversely.

Fact 3:
Although recycling is proposed as a solution for reducing plastic debris, did you know that all plastic cannot be recycled?! Plastics are comprised of different chemical compositions that make it a laborious and costly process to recycle some! Technically, and practically, only two types of plastic can be recycled – PET and HDPE. The former is used to make water bottles and synthetic fibers while the latter is used for making bottle caps, jugs, and water pipes.

Fact 4:
Humans generate so much of plastic waste annually that if put together it can go around the earth four times!! Therefore, it must come as no surprise that about 93 percent of Americans, who are 6 years of age or above, test positive for BPA – a plastic chemical.

Fact 5:
If you are thinking that changing to clay, ceramic, or other nature-based containers and vessels can help you become plastic-free; think again! Plastic pellets are also being used in toothpastes and facial scrubs! This invention of man has become so widespread that they are even found in the Great Lakes, considered one of the cleanest freshwater lakes on our planet.

Fact 6:
Plastic is not only harmful, it is also becoming a costly affair! When recycled plastic is used to make products, we save 75% resources as compared to making plastic from virgin materials!

Fact 7:
According to researchers, it takes 25,000 plastic bottles to make one ton of plastic. And recycling this one ton of plastic to make other products can save us 1.5 ton of carbon!! In other words, you pollute the earth lesser and save a great deal of our invaluable fossil fuels in the process.

Fact 8:
Plastic production and usage has grown a great extent in the last one decade. In fact, we have produced and consumed more plastic in the last decade than we did in the whole of the last century! But sadly, 50 percent of the plastic produced is for one-time use.

Fact 9:
One plastic bottle dumped at sea can disintegrate and get transported to all the beaches in the world! And we have billions of plastic waste floating. In fact, studies have found that a million birds and about a hundred thousand mammals are killed annually; thanks to all the plastic we are dumping into the oceans.

Fact 10:
Virtually, all the plastic that was ever made continues to exist in some shape or form. Therefore, the best way to reduce plastic is to reuse, recycle, and regenerate! Because it is not just killing our wild life and marine life but also our future generations!

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