It seems crazy but, scientists are predicting that by 2050 there might be more plastic than fish in the sea!
All that plastic is poisoning the planet and heralding in a new epoch in human environmental damage. Now, at Elephant Box we’re big fans of things that are environmentally friendly and made to last. We’re not so much a fan of plastics, but we know how difficult they are to avoid - I mean plastics are pretty much everywhere right?
So, join us over the next four weeks we look at how we can reduce our plastic usage, put pressure on retailers to reduce theirs and learn about some pretty cool people who are using technology to beat the plastic problem.
Did you know that what is widely accepted to be the first man-made plastic was created by Alexander Parks in Birmingham, UK in 1856?
He developed it to show at the Great International Exhibition in London in 1856 and, in typical Victorian fashion, named his invention after himself - calling it Parkesine (not Alexander).
Polypropylene (the stuff they make terrible office chairs out of) was invented in 1954. The market for this plastic is expected to grow at a rate of 5.8% per year until 2021, making the total market worth in excess of US$145 billion.
Since the end of the Second World War, we have produced enough plastic to cover the entire world in clingfilm. There is almost nowhere on earth that is untouched from plastics.
In fact, plastics are even in our food. Scientists from Belgium’s Ghent University recently calculated that on average eaters of shellfish consume 11,000 plastic fragments per year. A 2016 study by scientists at Plymouth University discovered that plastic fragments are in a third of all fish caught off the coast of Britain. Shocking, but hardly surprising when you consider that since the invention of the polythene bag in the 1950’s global plastic production jumped from 5 million tonnes to 311 million tonnes by 2014.
|The annual total of plastics produced stands at 300 million tonnes - close to the weight of the entire human population of the planet.|
That’s the then and the now of plastics.
The infographic below highlights some of the reasons why you should break up with plastics then we look at each section in more detail.
You can download your infographic here.
Some mind-blowing statistics:
So there you go. Five pretty compelling reasons to start reducing the amount of plastics in your life. Next week we will be giving you five easy steps that you can take immediately to ditch the plastic. In the meantime, why not start by making the switch from plastic to food grade, stainless steel lunchboxes? The planet and your health will thank you for it.
One last thought, think about the absurdity of it all. Somewhere in the ocean right now there is probably a container ship full of plastic ducks. Plastic ducks that will outlive all of us, along with the fish-shaped soy sauce containers that you get at sushi restaurants.
Reduce the amount of plastics in your life, swap over to ethically produced, food grade stainless steel containers today.
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Last week we looked at why it is time to start going zero waste, this week we show you how and where to get started.