Plastic is Forever

Annual global plastic production has increased from two to 380 million tonnes since 1950 and is projected to double by 2035.

Today, it is estimated that one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute, and 5 trillion plastic bags are used every year.

It takes more than one millennium for a plastic bag to decompose, slowly breaking down into smaller and smaller microplastics that are swept away by air and water into the highest peaks and the deepest trenches of our planet.

We breathe up to 7,000 microplastics each day.

We eat and drink them. 83% of tap water and 90% of bottled water has been found to contain plastic particles. It is estimated that the average person is ingesting five grams of microplastics every week – the equivalent of a credit card.

We are even born with them, as revealed in a 2020 study that detected microplastics in human placentas.

However, without plastic we wouldn't be as safe: IV bags, syringes, surgical masks, prosthetic limbs, motorcycle helmets, and so many other life-saving objects are made of plastic materials.

We would waste more food: plastic packaging prolongs the life of meat and vegetables.

We would spend more money: plastic is affordable, versatile and reusable.

Plastic is an enduring human invention with numerous applications in modern society. Plastic waste, however, needs to be managed responsibly to prevent adverse effects on human health and the environment.

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has rang the alarm on the triple planetary emergency that we are currently faced with:

a climate crisis,

a nature crisis, and

a pollution crisis.