09 Jul Why You Need To Take Action To Go Plastic Free Now
Everyone loves the sea. Everyone loves turtles, dolphins and whales. Who doesn’t love a pristine white sandy beach? Ever gone to a beach and stepped on a plastic takeaway cup or found pieces of straws next to your beach towel? Plastic free beaches are, unfortunately, a distant memory from the past.
Fact is, if we continue to use and dispose of plastics as we do now, there will be no pristine beaches. Additionally, the sea creatures that we all adore will cease to exist. #plasticfree
There is no way of sugarcoating the fact that our seas are drowning in plastics and our beautiful sea creatures are suffocating and dying from this plastic every second. You might have seen the documentaries, but seeing these facts on the state of our planet in black and white is the wake-up call you need to go plastic free now.
Have a read through the cold hard facts below.
It’s not pretty, but this is the hard truth and the wake-up call we all desperately need to create a sustainable plastic free present and future.
Snapshot of Australia
- Australia alone uses 6.9 billion plastic bags a year; 3.6 billion are plastic shopping bags.
- These bags could wrap around the planet 42.5 times.
- Australians dump 36,700 tonnes of plastic bag waste (4,000 bags per minute or 240,000 per hour) into the landfill every year.
- Each year it costs the Australian government over $4 million to clean up plastic bag litter.
- If each Australian family used 1 less plastic bag each week, that would be 253 million bags less a year.
- Less than 1% of plastic bags in Australia are reused.
Global Plastic Facts
- Worldwide we use approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year. AKA a million bags every minute or 150 bags a year for every human on earth.
- Joining the ends of the bags, they would circumnavigate the globe 4,200 times. Despite bag bans, the number is rising.
- Humans make more than 300 million tons of plastic every year; 50 % is for single use items.
- Worldwide, 13,000-15,000 pieces of plastic are dumped into the ocean every day. Over 8 million tons of plastic gets dumped into our oceans every year, AKA 1 rubbish truck of waste every minute.
- An estimated 46,000 pieces of plastic float in every square mile of ocean.
- In 2014 the plastic to the fish ratio by weight in the ocean was 1:5. In 2050 the plastic to the fish ratio by weight in the sea is expected to exceed 1:1.
- Plastics kill so many animals because they take so long to disintegrate. An animal that dies from plastic will decompose yet the plastics remain. Eventually, wash away, and another animal could fall victim to the same plastics.
These facts are quite shocking, however not surprising at all, considering the way we have acted over the last decades? This is just the tip of the iceberg; there are so many more facts out there. Truth be told, we cannot go back in time and erase all the plastic waste that has been already dropped into our seas. However, we can all prevent more plastic pollution and contribute to a more sustainable plastic free future together. It all starts with you.
Even the tiniest step in the right direction counts. Ban those plastic shopping bags and take your own when going grocery shopping. Use a keep cup for your takeaway coffee or ask the friendly barista to not pop a lid on your takeaway coffee cup. Take a glass jar for your takeaway smoothie or juice or glass lunch containers to your local takeaway joint. Choose the fresh produce not pre-wrapped in plastic. Use the mushroom paper bags instead of the plastic bags provided, or better yet bring your reusable veggie bags. Ask for a box to pop all groceries in, instead of plastic bags. The list goes on and on.
If you need more support or advice, please have a read through Kate Nelson’s aka plastic free mermaid super informative site I Quit Plastic. There is not only more facts on the current global waste situation, but also tips on how she quit plastic in her daily life and how each and every one of us can contribute for a better more sustainable future.
Spread the word to your friends and start bringing awareness to as many people as possible. Awareness is the first step to change. #plasticfree
Written by Kate Nelson
Photo by Martijn Baudoin