How much plastic is in the ocean, why is single-use plastic bad and what plastic can be recycled?

How much plastic is in the ocean, why is single-use plastic bad and what plastic can be recycled?

Up to 12 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the sea every year - the equivalent of a full rubbish truck every minute.

THERE'S a war on excessive packaging in a bid to curb plastics and clean up our oceans.

But how much of it is actually in the ocean, and what can be recycled?  Here's what we know...

How much plastic is in the oceans?

Up to 12million tonnes of plastic ends up in the sea every year - the equivalent of a full rubbish truck every minute.

There is now an estimated 300million tonnes of plastic in the oceans - much of it invisible to the naked eye.

Some escapes from landfill sites, blows into a river and ends up in the sea, while other sources are dumped by careless holidaymakers on the beach.

And it can even get washed down the drain in the form of microbeads in cosmetic products.

Experts are now even warning plastic waste is now finding its way into the human food chain.

“It’s estimated within a few decades there could be more plastic than fish in our oceans,” says Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner for Greenpeace UK.

“It’s critical we reduce our use of throwaway plastic now.”

What plastics can be recycled?

Just 44.9 per cent of 2.26million tonnes of plastic waste was recycled in 2016 – almost half the rate for paper and cardboard.

94% of local authorities now offer collection facilities for plastic bottles - so there's no excuse to not start with them.

Nearly all solid clear plastic can be recycled, while some dark plastics can also be with the right technology.

Most plastic pots can be recycled, as can tubs and trays.

But sweet wrappers can't, along with film lids, bread bags, bubble wrap, and plastic toys.

Why are single-use plastics so bad?

Single-use plastics don't break down naturally and are found in items that are only used once before they are thrown away or recycled.

They include straws, light-weight plastic bags, some food packaging, disposable utensils and beverage containers.

They make up most of the dumped plastic worldwide.

Although it doesn't decompose into natural substances like soil, it will break down into tiny particles that make their way into the food and water supply.

Worryingly, fish-eating Brits risk consuming up to 11,000 tiny fragments every year according to a recent Belgian study.

Link: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6067540/plastic-ocean-single-use-bad-recycle/ 

 

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