View the "Did You Know" information below about plastics and how they affect our community, nation, and world's health, happiness, and well-being. 

Photo from: National Geographic

Photo from: National Geographic

  • It is estimated that 1.15 to 2.41 million tons of plastic are entering the ocean each year from worldwide rivers.

  • The UN predicts that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

  • Plastic bags are estimated to take 10 - 1,000 years to break down.

    • California was the first US State to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.

  • Seattle is believed to be the first major U.S. city to ban single-use plastic straws and utensils in food service.

  • The country of Kenya enacted legislation that will fine and/or jail Kenyans producing, selling, or using single-use plastic bags.

  • After plastics break down they become microplastics and do not leave our ecosystems.

    • Once plastics break down and become this small, microplastics are very difficult to remove and are often mistaken for food by marine animals.

    • Microplastics act like a sponges attracting other toxins to them. These toxins and microplastics enter our food chain and contaminate ecosystems.

    • Researchers at the University of Minnesota have found microplastics in 12 brands of beer made with water from the Great Lakes.

    • A recent (Spring 2018) study by the Illinois State Geological and Water Surveys, and published in in the journal Groundwater, identified microplastics in karst groundwater aquifers in the St. Louis metro area for the first time.

    • Microfibers, used in moisture-wicking clothing made of materials that include polyester and nylon, make up 85% of plastic pollution along shorelines globally, according to a Missouri Stream Team Fact Sheet.

  • Plastic pollution (including plastic straws, microplastics, etc) inhibits the growth and well being of wildlife.

  • There are several areas in the ocean where plastic debris tends to accumulate due to ocean currents.

    • The most well known area is "The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” which is located in the North Pacific Ocean.

    • This declared “patch” is a large area with high volumes of trash and plastics. Plastic debris ranges from small flecks to larger concentrations of plastics – like fishing nets.

    • It is estimated that 46% of materials in the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” is plastic.

    • A total of 1.8 trillion plastic pieces are estimated to be floating in the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” - a plastic count that is equivalent to 250 pieces of debris for every human in the world.

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