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.
       
  • 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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