While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become addicted to single-use or disposable plastic — with severe environmental consequences. Around the world, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, while up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. In total, half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once — and then thrown away. Researchers estimate that more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since the early 1950s. About 60% of that plastic has ended up in either a landfill or the natural environment.
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Ecological and Human Health Impacts
Plastic Waste: Ecological and Human Health Impacts
Science for Environment Policy | In-depth Reports | Plastic Waste: Ecological and Human Health Impacts November 2011
1.0 Plastic Waste: Drivers and Pressures
2.0 State of Plastic Waste in the Environment
3.0 Impacts of Plastics Waste on the Health of Ecosystems
1. World Plastics Production 1950-2008. From Plastic Waste in the
2. Continued decoupling of plastic waste and landfill
3. Main sources and movement pathways for plastic in the
4. Proportion of post-consumer waste in EU-27, Norway and
Switzerland according to function, 2008.
5. Composition and numbers of marine litter items found on
beaches within OSPAR network.
6. Changes in composition of marine items found on beaches
within OSPAR network
7. Algalita Research Centre monitoring
8. Litter ( items/ hectare) on the sea bed in the channel (x) and
the gulf of Lion (y) 1998 -2010
9. Trends in the average number of marine litter items collected
on reference beaches over three time periods
10. Identity and compostition of plastic debris collected from the
strandline of the Tamar Estuary (UK)
11. Amount of user and industrial plastic in Fulmar stomachs in
Netherlands over time
12. EcoQO performance in North Sea regions 2005-2009 and
preliminary trends. Trend shown by connecting running
average 5 year data
13. Trends in EcoQO performance in different regions o