We got back yesterday, and that same evening went to a screening of A Plastic Ocean documentary as part of the Peckham & Nunhead Free Film Festival. Here are some facts from the film.
- In the last 10 years, humans have created more plastic waste than in the last century
- Each year 63 billion gallons of oil are used in the US to make plastic bottles alone
- The US alone throws away 38 Billion bottles every year
- 80% of plastic waste in the ocean comes from land, so even if you don't live anywhere near the coast the chances are your plastic waste has found its way into the sea.
- 50% of all plastic is single-use and has an average use time of 12 minutes
- In parts of the ocean there is more plastic pieces than there are plankton, meaning that plastic is being consumed at all levels of the food chain.
Read more facts from the film here.
What the film stressed was that we can start to remediate the problem of plastic pollution, but first it's VITAL that first we stop creating it in the first place.
My trip to Germany was quite enlightening in this respect. In Germany when you buy a glass or plastic bottle you pay a small deposit which can then be cashed in at the bar where you bought your drink or the supermarket. This system means that people are incentivised to think about how they are disposing of their waste. Now, in Germany 87% of total waste is recycled.
I'd love to see them enact something similar here in the UK, but Brexit might mean that environmental standards could slip without EU regulation.
With this in mind, it's more important than ever for people in the UK to take it upon themselves to educate and be conscious of their own waste!