Every year enough plastic is trashed to wrap four times round the earth.
Over the last ten years alone we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century.
Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form (except the small amount that has been incinerated).
We produce nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, of which 8 million tons is dumped into our oceans - the equivalent of one garbage truck a minute.
For every square mile of ocean, there are around 46,000 piece of plastic present.
Plastic production accounts for about 6% of global oil consumption, which is equivalent to the oil consumption of the global aviation sector.
This means that the penchant for plastic bottled water is causing deforestation and displacement of indigenous tribes in the amazon predominantly, as coal and oil commodity companies clear space for fossil fuel extraction.
If the use of plastics continues to grow it will account for 20% of total oil, and 15% of the global annual carbon budget by 2050.
Exposure to plastic chemicals is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, hormone disruption and fertility issues. BPA, or bisphenol A, is used in bottles and disrupts hormones creating dangerous levels of oestrogen.
As it makes its way around, plastic leeches and absorbs chemicals from other plastics before it enters landfill or oceans, and as it degrades, these plastic pieces also release toxic chemicals.
Mercury emitted into the atmosphere rains into rivers and sea, being gobbled by tiny bacteria which turn it into methylmercury.
This substance bonds incredibly well with polymer plastics which small animals and organisms LOVE to eat the most, which bigger animals love to eat too - and now chemicals leached by plastics are found in over 90% of seabirds, and in the blood of nearly all people all over the planet .
China, a country of 1.3 billion, consumes 3 billion plastic bags daily.
500 billion bags worldwide are simply thrown to the land and seas, tantamount to over 100 million per minute.
Only 1 in 200 plastic bags in the UK are recycled.
More than 100 million plastic bottles are used worldwide every day!
That's 1,600 per second, that end up in landfills or the ocean..
On average, a bottle is used for 12 seconds, yet it takes 700 - 1,000 years to start decomposing.
Tens of millions of barrels of oil are used to make these bottles each year. Not to mention the energy for the distance of transportation. Deforestation for throw away culture
An all ecompassing, epic, ethical manual on mitigating plastic is coming soon...
In the meantime:
hints & tips
hints & tips
straws & cutlery
From bags and storage to bamboo sporks, boobalou has some conscientious contraption to help. I got an epic little bamboo spork from here for £2. And they offer the option of plastic free, paper packaging.
Almost every office in the UK has a disturbingly large store of old worn out tupperware in some secret cupboard. So do Grandmas. It's strangely edifying collecting a mish-mash of sizes and shapes to store your sustenance. And saves any new packaging from finding its way into the oceans.
I've also been washing plastic bags and reusing them too.
Disasterous disposeable razors end up incinerated, in landfil or floating in the seas. Preserve is a US company that makes cosmetic tools from 100% recycled yoghurt cups. Buy one from the Animal Aid website here in the UK:
Better still, get a metal blade razer so you never have to buy a new one.
Ok so make-up is pretty hard. Green People are an organic, UK based cosmetic company endorsed by the Soil Association who never test on animals. And some of their products come in card storage! There are also loads of amazing companies at the click of a search engine that deliver bamboo boxed goods or renewable palates of colour in wooden containers. Find your fossil-free adornments and ethically apply.
Soapnuts sells cruelty-free, organic sustainable products produced in the UK. Their deoderant is lovely, and in a glass jar. Though there is a plastic lid, so you can reuse the jar later to make your own deoderant.
Ingredients: Baking soda, cornstarch, coconut oil, essential oils
Recipie: Mix away until it reaches your preferred consistency.
It's not so hard. Avoid sandwiches, salads and sudden urges from supermarkets. Instead pack some fruit and nuts or visit the fresh aisles for edibles.
To stock up the cupboards and fridge search for your local 'whole food' shop using the internet and find retailers that sell bulk beans, pulses, nuts, vegetables and go fill up some old tupperware. Fair Shares in Elephant & Castle is GREAT. And cheap?!
Stopping snacking isn't necessay, just get innovative. Fry up some bananas, or grill some aubergine, oven some brocolli and take it for later. I've been whipping up hummus like there's no tomorrow and eating with bakery bread or carrots.
Also, there are dirty, great big bags of nuts and dried fruits here. They tend to come organic and wrapped almost entirely in aluminium, or at least larger bags you can recycle at your local co-operative shop for reuse.
Avoiding a lifettime of plastic toothbrush disposal is easy. There's a zero-waste, carbon neutral bamboo toothbrush available on the market, and Preserve also make recycled plastic yoghurt cup toothbrushes too.
Ingredients: Baking soda, pinch of salf, coconut oil, mint essential oil
Check out the local whole food shop where you can refill your ecover washing up liquid, soaps, sprays and laundry liquids.
Or buy organic, vegan, biodegradable, sustainable and hypoallergenic soap nut fruits for natural laundry washing that is free from synthetics and toxic ingredients.