Plastic facts

  • Plastic was introduced about 25 years ago.
  • Today's worldwide consumption rate is over 500 billion plastic bags annually; this is almost 1 million plastic bags per minute.
  • Average household waste includes about 11% of plastic.
  • Plastic is made of oil, a non-renewable resource that is created over millions of years.
  • Oil is estimated to run out in the next 50 years at current consumption rates.
  • Single-use bags (typically the plastic bags supplied at supermarkets and other retail stores) takes up to 1,000 years to decompose.
  • In Africa, cottage industries have been established to "harvest" windblown plastic bags (bags carried by the wind) to make hats and bags out of them. One such cottage industry is reported to harvest 30,000 such bags per month.
  • Recycling plastic is not a regulated, mandatory activity around the world, although plastic is available in virtually every country in the world.

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