PLASTIC WASTE and the necessity to reduce it
On February 12, 2015- data from a new study detailing where plastic trash ends up was published in Science Magazine by a team of researchers from the University of Georgia. This was the first large-scale research done since the 1970s to try to quantify how much plastic waste ends up in the ocean each year.
The conclusions should come as no surprise- The environment is on overload with plastic debris…
- most of it lies in landfills- those plastics will sit there for thousands of years waiting to degrade;
- only about 9% of plastic we consume gets recycled;
- a vast amount ends up in the world’s oceans- either from people throwing/dumping litter into waterways, or from storm-water runoff carrying plastic debris to the coasts;
- ocean currents carry metric tons of trash into five known massive swirling garbage patches or gyres in every ocean on Earth. (A horrifying amount of trash plastic- 8 million metric tons- found their way to the world’s oceans in 2010 alone.)
The problem is forecasted to become even worse…
UNLESS better waste-management techniques are adopted and practiced world-wide:
- Recycle, reuse plastic products,
- Reduce packaging materials,
- Eliminate or reduce the use of disposable, one-time use items.