50 Facts That Will Make You Stop Using Plastic

Plastic is not only killing marine animals and ecosystems, but countless studies show it's hazardous to human health.

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Garbage, Dump, Plastic waste, Pile of Garbage Plastic Waste Bottle and Bag Foam tray many on bin yellow, Plastic Waste Pollutioncgdeaw/Shutterstock

It's time to reduce plastic waste

If you take a look around your kitchen or office right now, chances are you'll notice you're surrounded by plastic—water bottles, to-go coffee cups, straws, plastic grocery bags, food wrappers, take-out containers, single-serve coffee pods, disposable utensils, and produce bags. These are all examples of single-use plastic products, which is a hot topic nowadays based on both environmental and health concerns.

It's certainly not realistic to remove all plastic from your life, but let's examine some stats that may encourage you to reduce your single-use plastic footprint by ditching straws, switching to reusable water bottles, bringing cloth bags to the grocery store, and more.

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Close up from a bottle industryGemenacom/Shutterstock

Plastic production is off the charts

The popularity of plastic, which began rising in the 1950s, is growing out of control—18.2 trillion pounds of plastic have been produced around the world, according to a study published in the journal Science Advances, a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. And there's no sign of slowing down, considering scientists say that another 26.5 trillion pounds will be produced worldwide by 2050.

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Plastic trash in ocean. Plastic bottles, bags, straws and cups underwater. Environmental pollution problem.Rich Carey/Shutterstock

Plastic ends up in our oceans

"Every piece of plastic that has ever been created will remain in the environment in some form, but once we conveniently throw out our trash at home, wind and runoff carry our waste from landfills and streets down the sewer and directly to the ocean," says Mystic Aquarium's chief clinical veterinarian Jennifer Flower, DVM, MS. "With the average American throwing away 185 pounds of trash per year and globally producing over 320 million tonnes of plastic annually, the marine environment is taking a big hit from our daily disposal of plastic. Our plastic consumption is directly affecting the marine life in the ocean including fish, which is a main source of food for humans as well. Often our society is so focused on making our lives more convenient in the short term, but in the long run, our health and the health of marine life are at the expense of those everyday conveniences."

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