Plastic pollution can now be found on every beach in the world, from busy tourist beaches to uninhabited, tropical islands nowhere is safe. It's time to change our habits and protect our planet.
Here are 10 Shocking Facts we recently read from National Geographic that everyone should know:
1. More than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are already floating in our oceans.
2. Worldwide, 73 percent of beach litter is plastic: filters from cigarette butts, bottles, bottle caps, food wrappers, grocery bags, and polystyrene containers.
3. World plastic production has increased exponentially from 2.1 million tonnes in 1950 to 147 million in 1993 to 406 million by 2015.
4. By 2050, virtually every seabird species on the planet will be eating plastic.
5. As of 2015, more than 6.3 billion tonnes of plastic waste had been generated. Around 9 percent of that was recycled, 12 percent was incinerated, and 79 percent accumulated in landfills or environment.
6. Around the world, nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute.
7. Estimates for how long plastic endures range from 450 years to forever.
8. The largest market for plastics today is packaging materials. That rubbish now accounts for nearly half of all plastic waste generated globally—most of it never gets recycled or incinerated.
9. Some 700 species of marine animals have been reported so far to have eaten or become entangled in plastic.
10. More than 40 percent of plastic is used just once, then tossed.