Issues & Concerns
Learn about the impact single-use plastic is having on us and our planet
P lastic was invented less than a hundred years ago, yet in this short amount of time, single-use plastic in particular has become one of the biggest made-made threats to our planet today.
From the amount of oil used its manufacture, the toxic leachate produced when plastic is buried, to the millions of tonnes of plastic entering our oceans per year – single-use plastic is misused and abused with severe consequences.
Some quick facts about single-use plastic
- Over the last 10 years humans have produced more plastic than during the last century.
- For every single-use plastic bottle of water, the equivalent of around 1/5th of its capacity of oil – a finite resource – is used.
Did you know? The UK alone uses 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups per year!
In numbers, that’s: 2.5,000,000,000,000
- It is likely that the seafood we eat contains microplastic in its gut or nano plastics in the meat tissue
- Microplastics in the ocean attract toxins from the water around it.
- Toxins in sealife are persistent, and biomagnify up the food chain we are the top of.
- Toxins and chemicals from plastics are thought to cause cancer and disrupt hormones.
- Around 60% of the plastic we use is single-use – used once and then thrown away, and about a truck’s worth of plastic enters the world’s oceans every single minute.
- By 2050 scientists believe there will be more plastic in the sea than fish (in weight terms)
- It is estimated that 100,000 sea mammals die from entanglement and suffocation caused by plastic marine debris.
- Around 1 million sea birds die a year from ingesting pieces of plastic found on land or floating in the sea.
- Approximately one in four fish caught for human consumption has pieces of plastic in its gut.
We’ve compiled some resources to promote discussion and raise awareness of just what the issues and concerns regarding plastic are.
Packs of resources to help save you time.