The amount of trash we produce and use has risen over the past 30 years. 300 million tons of plastic is produced every year and sadly a staggering 85 percent is not recycled. This means the trash will be sent to landfills and then more than likely, will end up polluting our oceans. In fact, it’s estimated that around 8.8 million tons of plastic trash end up in the world’s oceans ever year. Tragically, it is estimated that around 700 marine species are faced with extinction thanks to the threat that plastic poses them in the form of entanglement, ingestion, and pollution.
Reading statistics about pollution is one thing but actually seeing the damage is another…
This photo posted on 5 Gyres‘s Facebook page shows the reality of what trash pollution does to wild animals.
The hermit crab in the photo has resorted to using a discarded bottle as a shell – likely the result of being forced to adjust to life surrounded by our trash. At the very least, the hermit crab found a glass shell and not a plastic one, but it is still heartbreaking that this tiny animal has chosen a home in a piece of human-produced trash. 270,000 tons of plastic are currently estimated to be floating just on the surface of our oceans. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (already estimated to be the size of Texas) in the Pacific Ocean is growing by the year, with truly frightening implications for marine and human life.
While this photo is shocking, it is important to remember the role that we can play in reducing the amount of plastic and trash that enters our oceans. We have a choice to use disposable plastics on a daily basis or choose to use a reusable, sustainable alternative. Together, we can make a difference!
As the leading organization at the forefront of the conscious consumerism movement, One Green Planet believes that reducing everyday plastics from our lives is not about giving up anything or sacrificing convenience, but rather learning to reap the maximum benefit from the items you use every day while having the minimum impact.
Let’s #CrushPlastic! Click the graphic below for more information.
Image Source: 5 Gyres/Facebook