THE PLASTIC PROBLEM
We’re surrounded by plastic. It’s in the single-use packaging we discard, the consumer goods that fill our stores, and in our clothing, which sheds microplastic fibers in the wash.
In the first decade of this century, we made more plastic than all the plastic in history up to the year 2000. And every year, billions of pounds of more plastic end up in the world’s oceans. Studies estimate there are now 15–51 trillion pieces of plastic in the world’s oceans — from the equator to the poles, from Arctic ice sheets to the sea floor. Not one square mile of surface ocean anywhere on earth is free of plastic pollution.
The problem is growing into a crisis. The fossil fuel industry plans to increase plastic production by 40 percent over the next decade. These oil giants are rapidly building petrochemical plants across the United States to turn fracked gas into plastic. This means more toxic air pollution and plastic in our oceans.
We need urgent action to address the global plastic pollution epidemic.
Unfortunately, plastic is so durable that the EPA reports “every bit of plastic ever made still exists.” All five of the Earth’s major ocean gyres are inundated with plastic pollution. The largest one has been dubbed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
- Posted by Archna Zadoo
- On December 13, 2019
- 0 Comment