Sometimes it is not the type of material, but … The problem with plastic. Vol 370, Issue 6517 . That’s about 17.6 billion pounds — or the equivalent of nearly 57,000 blue whales — every single year. We have produced over 320 million tonnes of plastic – this is set to double by 2034. Plastic microbeads are estimated to be one million times more toxic than the seawater around it. It's hard to imagine, but about 97 percent of the Earth's water can be found in our ocean. The numbers are staggering: There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Two patches are connected to create one large vortex comprised of 1.8 trillion bits of plastic. Out of the 381 million tonnes of plastic waste a year, only 9% of single-use plastics are recycled, with the remainder ending up in landfill & the sea. Sources: Earthsky, National Geographic, Market Watch. The world now produces more than 380 million tonnes of plastic every year, which could end up as pollutants, entering our natural environment and oceans.. Of course, not all of our plastic waste ends up in the ocean, most ends up in landfills: it’s estimated that the share of global plastic waste that enters the ocean is around 3%. Sources: SAS, Ocean Crusaders, Earth Day, The patch is 617,763 square miles (or 1.6 million square kilometers). In Australia. Winnie Lau, a senior manager at Pew who has overseen the project, says sheâs unconcerned about industry titans who will resist. Microplastic can be found in tap water, beer and salt. Two-thirds of plastic pollution comes from litter being washed down rivers and drains, left on beaches, or being dropped in towns or cities. They found that 20 countries are responsible for more than 80 percent of the plastic going into the ocean annually. The amount of plastic in the ocean is set to increase tenfold by 2020. Weâre drowning in plastic. 95% of US adults have levels of BPA in their urine. This trash vortex is a collection of two distinct patches connected by the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. Closing the collection gap and connecting them to a garbage system, Pew found, would require connecting 500,000 people a day, every day, between now and 2040. The top 5 countries contribute to 60% of all ocean plastic pollution. The Top 10 worst offenders include Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka & Egypt. Plastic pollution in the ocean could be an even bigger problem than first feared, with 14.4 million tonnes of microplastics estimated to be at the bottom of the sea. Recycling is one of the most effective means of reducing the use of virgin plastic, but first it has to be collected, and today two billion people lack access to waste collection systems. That means that if we don’t do something now, we could be facing 250 million metric tons in the ocean in less than 10 years. This, in turn, causes marine life to migrate to new parts of the ocean, which disrupts the entire ecosystem. Every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans. However, at the rate we are polluting the ocean with around 12.7 million tonnes of plastic a year, the damage we are doing to marine life and our ecosystem is becoming irreparable. That single, incomprehensibly large statistic is at the center of a new two-year research project that both illuminates the failure of the worldwide campaign to curb plastic pollution and prescribes an ambitious plan for reducing much of that flow into the seas. Industry and government promises would cut annual plastic leakage into the ocean by just 7 percent by 2040. Along with this, major drinks companies such as Coca Cola produce the highest numbers of plastic bottles; analysis from Greenpeace estimates they produce over 100 billion plastic bottles a year. That’s about 17.6 billion pounds — or the equivalent of nearly 57,000 blue whales — every single year. Clearly, we need a fundamental rethinking of our relationship with this material.â, (Weâre drowning in plastic. How many fish & marine life die from plastic pollution in the ocean? The same study, published in the journal Science in 2015, surveyed 192 coastal countries contributing to ocean plastic waste, and found that Asian nations were 13 of the 20 biggest contributors. Americans use an estimated 50 billion plastic water bottles a year. All rights reserved. Plastic waste in ocean to increase tenfold by 2020. More than 90% of plastic is never recycled, and a whopping 8 million metric tons of plastic waste are dumped into the oceans annually. A model simulating a device touted to clear plastic from the “Great Pacific garbage patch” shows that it would collect much less than 1 percent of the ocean’s plastic pollution by 2150. No one knows for certain how much plastic, which is virtually indestructible, has accumulated in the seas.