Basket

Earth: The Home of 8.3 Billion Tonnes of Plastic

By 13/03/2019 Environment

It’s hard to know what to call where we live at the moment, is it Earth or is it planet plastic? The total amount of plastic made is astonishing – according to US scientists in 2017, the figure was 8.3 billion tonnes.

To put that into perspective, 8.3 billion tonnes is equal, in weight, to:

  • 822 000 Eiffel Towers or
  • 25 000 Empire State Buildings or
  • 1 billion elephants or
  • 80 million blue whales

The plastic we use is normally discarded after a short amount of time, especially as it is used in vast amounts in packaging.

Since when?

This amount of plastic made has been calculated since the time large-scale production of plastic began in the early 1950s. Most of this plastic is now in landfill sites across the world. In fact, it is estimated that 6.3 billion tonnes of the total amount of plastic produced, have already become waste. Of the waste total, only 9% was recycled, so it’s no real surprise the earth and its oceans are teaming with waste plastic.

Plastic really is getting everywhere.

What about the oceans?

The same researchers also estimated that 8 million metric tonnes of plastic waste had entered the oceans in 2010. That’s extortionate. It’s thought that every year 12.7 million tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean – that includes anything from plastic bags to plastic bottles to the microbeads found in cosmetic products such as face washes.

We can see plastic being washed up all over the world. You only have to watch Channel 4’s The Island to see the impact it is having on the environment. Here in the UK, you only need to take a trip to the coast to see plastic being washed up on our shores every day, sparking a rise in local community beach cleans.

How is the plastic affecting the ocean’s wildlife? Plastic is responsible for choking turtles, blocking the stomachs of seabirds which confuse pieces of plastic for food and is even becoming part of the food chain as it’s being eaten by the shellfish we eat.

You can do your bit

There are many things you can do to help limit the amount of plastic you are adding to the environment.

Here are some handy tips:

  • Buy yourself one of our HydrateM8 bottles for your drinks to limit the number of throwaway plastic bottles and take away hot drinks cups you use
  • Our insulated bottles keep cold drinks cold for 30 hours and hot drinks hot for 18
  • Our tracker bottles help to monitor the amount of water you drink every day
  • Don’t buy plastic carrier bags at the shops
  • Invest in canvas tote bags
  • Alternatively, use cardboard boxes or paper bags if possible
  • Always check plastic packaging to see if what you are buying can be recycled
  • Avoid plastic straws in your drinks
  • See if you can have your milk delivered in glass bottles
  • Avoid cosmetics which have microbeads in them
  • Join a local beach clean or community clean

By making just a few small changes to can have a huge impact on the amount of plastic we use daily.

Leave a Reply