9 million tons of plastic enter the ocean every year.
The “garbage patch” is only the tip of the iceberg
Only 1% of plastic floats on or near the surface. The remaining 99% sink or break down into microparticles to litter the deep sea, becoming impossible to collect while working their way into our marine food chain.
This pollution has a lasting effect on health, climate, and maritime activities.
Effects of plastic pollution
Plastic waste has become a pandemic – on land as well as in the sea. This pollution has effects on various domains:
An estimated one million birds, 100,000 marine mammals, sea turtles and countless fish die each year when they become trapped in plastic or eat it. Some plastics also act as sponges for toxins harmful for the marine environment. Last but not least, Bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalate are found in certain plastics, known to be endocrine disruptors that can cause damage to the foetus development.
79% of plastic waste is accumulated in landfills or the natural environment causing water and soil contamination. Also,
debris accumulation in standing water increases the threat of diseases. At sea, plastic microparticules is responsible for the contamination of our seafood.
USD 120 billion: value of packaging material lost annually to the economy. Unrecovered plastic waste found in nature is a significant loss from an economic point of view.This raw material has a continuous production and runs down oil reserves (8% of the world production)
Reduce – Reuse – Recycle – Recover
To fight against plastic pollution, concerted actions at all levels is required:
It will take several decades to find sustainable alternatives to plastic and to clean up our environment. In the meantime, transitional solutions must be found and spreaded to recover plastic waste so that it does not end up in the ocean.
Considering plastic waste as a resource
What if collecting and recovering trash was profitable?
What if waste was actually a resource?
Hundreds of thousand of people could collect plastic for a living while cleaning the coasts at the same time, thus preventing plastics from ending up in the ocean.