World Environment Day!

In honor of World Environment Day, I want to highlight some of the not-so-fun-facts about the harmful effects of plastic pollution on our planet, as noted by earthday.org

TOP 10 Facts about Plastic Pollution

  1. 8.3 BILLION Metric TONS. This is the amount of plastic produced in 1 YEAR and is roughly the same as the entire weight of every human on this planet
  2. Plastic NEVER just disappears, EVER!! Virtually every piece of plastic ever made still exists in some form or another (exception is the small amount that is incinerated
  3. 91% of plastic waste is NEVER recycled.
  4. 500 MILLION plastic straws are used in the US EVERYDAY…enough to circle the earth TWICE!
  5. Nearly TWO MILLION single-use plastic bags are distributed world-wide every MINUTE.
  6. 1 MILLION plastic bottles are bought every minute around the world….less than half of those bottles are being recycled
  7. 100 BILLION plastic bags are used by Americans every year…tied together that would circle the earth 773 times!
  8. 8 MILLION MMETRIC TONS end up in our oceans every year. That’s enough to cover every foot of coastline around the world with 5 FULL trash bags of plastic…. compounding every year.
  9. There are more microplastic in the ocean than there are stats in the Milky Way
  10. IF we fight to #BeatPlasticPollution, plastics will outweigh the fish in the sea pound for pound by 2050.

Does this get you interested in how to reduce your use of plastics?  Our mantra at ESI is “If you can’t re-use it, Refuse it!”  ESI Ecologists are in the field every week and encounter plastic waste in wetland ecosystems often.  Wetlands are the most fragile and important ecosystem on the planet. Healthily wetlands are crucial to clean and filter water, provide flood protection, sequester carbon and provide habitat for wildlife.  Wind and storm events carry plastic from curbside recycle bins or landfills into these sensitive ecosystems. 

So, what can you do? Start small!!! Carry re-useable bags in your car and use when you shop, skip plastic packaged fruits and vegetables at the grocery store.  Those are a couple small steps that will make a BIG impact, but there’s even more you or your company can do to help limit the use of single-use plastic in your home or office. The environment is under pressure and I understand, so are you. I’m Tony Pooley, Sustainability Specialist at Environmental Services, Inc., and I’m available for a consultation. Call me at 904-470-2200 or email me at tpooley@esinc.cc

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