Friday, April 17, 2009

The Plastic Plague

A very strong new blog called "Say No To Plastic..." makes a powerful case for the adverse impacts of non-biodegradable plastics on our global ecosystems. Though they don't cite their reference sources, if the following "quick facts" list is accurate, alarm bells should be sounding... from one end the planet to the other:


* A plastic milk jug takes 1 million years to decompose. ONE!

* A plastic cup can take 50 - 80 years to decompose.

* Americans use 2.5 million plastic bottles every HOUR.

* Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures every year.

* Today, Americans generate 10.5 million tons of plastic waste a year but recycle only 1 or 2 % of it.

* An estimated 14 billion pounds of trash, much of it plastic is dumped in the world’s oceans every year.

* The worldwide fishing industry dumps an estimated 150,000 tons of plastic into the ocean each year, including packaging, plastic nets, lines, and buoys.

* Each of us creates 1,500 lbs of trash every year that has to be disposed of . . . much of it could be recycled.

* Every year we make enough plastic film to shrink-wrap the state of Texas.

Now, take a look at what's happening in a region of the Pacific Ocean (between San Francisco and Hawaii) called the North Pacific Gyre:

Recycle all the plastic bottles you possibly can. If the local grocer uses plastic bags, create a recycling box or bin and from time to time return them to the store. The urgency of dealing with this plastic plague cannot be understated. Unchecked, it will eventually find its way onto our dinner plates... if it hasn't already.

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