Research commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has found that on average, people could be ingesting 5g – the weight of a credit card – in plastic every week, which amounts to about 250g a year. WWF International director-general Marco Lambertini has called for urgent action by world governments to tackle plastic pollution.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI
You can find out how much plastic you are consuming at: yourplasticdiet.org
PLASTIC, PLASTIC EVERYWHERE
1. Since 2000, the world has produced as much plastic as all the preceding years combined, a third of which is leaked into nature. The production of virgin plastic has increased 200 times since 1950 and has grown at 4 per cent a year since 2000. If all predicted plastic production capacity is reached, current production could increase by 40 per cent by 2030.
2. One-third of plastic waste ends up in nature, accounting for 100 million tonnes of plastic waste in 2016. More than 75 per cent of all plastic produced is waste. If nothing changes, the ocean will contain one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fish by 2025.
3. Plastic has been found at the bottom of the Mariana Trench and in arctic sea ice, in addition to covering coastal ecosystems and accumulating in ocean currents in all parts of the world. Animals get entangled in large plastic debris, leading to injury or death. Wildlife entanglement has been recorded in more than 270 different species. Animals also ingest large quantities of plastic that they cannot pass through their digestive systems, resulting in internal abrasion, digestive blockage and death. Toxins from ingested plastic also harm breeding and impair immune systems.