Toxic chemicals leach out of plastic and are found in the blood and tissue of nearly all of us. Exposure to them is linked to cancers, birth defects, impaired immunity, endocrine disruption, and other ailments. Additionally, it poisons our food and water sources.
380 million tons of non-biodegradable plastic is produced worldwide each year and it will take up to 1000 years for that harmful plastic to decompose. It doesn’t break down, it breaks up and gets stored in the fatty tissue of the foods we eat and in the water we drink.
Over 260 species, including invertebrates, turtles, fish, seabirds and mammals, have been reported to ingest or become entangled in plastic debris, resulting in impaired movement and feeding, reduced reproductive output, lacerations, ulcers, and death. In our oceans alone, plastic debris outweighs zooplankton by a ratio of 36-to-1.
Everything suffers: tourism, recreation, business, the health of humans, animals, fish, and birds—because of plastic pollution. The financial damage continuously being inflicted is inestimable. The overall natural capital cost of plastic used in the consumer goods sector each year is $75 billion.