Plastic Pollution facts

Plastic never goes away. It doesn’t biodegrade but breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces.

Plastic is accumulating in the environment. Australians use 3.92 billions plastic bags per year and 50 million of these end up being littered.

Plastic leaches into groundwater. Plastic in landfill leaches chemicals into groundwater, polluting lakes and rivers.

Plastic affects our health. Chemicals, such as BPA, have been found in our blood stream and are linked to cancers, birth defects and other issues.

Plastic threatens wildlife. It is estimated that more than half the world’s turtles have eaten plastic. Entanglement and habitat disruption are also serious threats to wildlife.

Plastic costs billions to abate. The financial damage is continuously being calculated. Its impact is far reaching and includes tourism, recreation, business, human health, animals, fish and birds.

Sources: www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org
www.cleanup.org
Schuyler et al (2013) Conservation Biology

 

join a beach clean

One solution to the problem of plastic pollution is to clean it up! Beach cleans are organised by many community groups and help stop litter entering the oceans. Beach cleans can be fun too! Check out events such as the Seaside Scavenge and More Tunes Less Trash. Also, you can do your own clean up anytime with Two Hands Project and Take 3 for the Sea.

At SO Manly beach cleans, the debris data is sent to Tangaroa Blue, part of the Australian Marine Debris Initiative. They work on solutions to stop the pollution at its source.

everyday actions

Refuse single-use plastic items such as plastic straws, coffee cups, plastic water bottles and plastic bags.

Reduce your plastic footprint. Don’t buy items with excessive plastic packaging.

Reuse durable items made from glass, silicon, stainless steel, wood, ceramic or bamboo.

Recycle as a last resort. Consider the life cycle of products you consume.