What Percentage Of Plastic Ends Up In The Ocean – Millions of metric tons of plastic are produced worldwide every year. Although half of this plastic waste is recycled, incinerated or dumped in landfills, a significant portion of what remains ultimately ends up in our oceans.
In fact, many pieces of ocean plastic waste have coalesced to create a vortex three times the size of France in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii.
What Percentage Of Plastic Ends Up In The Ocean
Where does all this plastic come from? In this graphic, Louis Lugas Wicaksono Lawrence J.J. Meijer and team to highlight the top 10 countries that emit plastic pollutants into the waters around them.
Visualized: Ocean Plastic Waste Pollution By Country
Much of the plastic waste found in deep blue waters comes from litter in parks, beaches, or storm drains on our streets. These bits of plastic waste are carried by wind and rainwater into our drains, streams and rivers.
A large proportion of ocean plastic comes from damaged fishing nets or ghost nets that are dumped directly into the high seas.
Some might think that the countries that produce or use the most plastic pollute the oceans the most. But that is not true.
According to the study, countries with small geographical areas, long coastlines, high rainfall and poor waste management systems are more likely to wash plastic into the ocean.
The Big Problem With Plastic
For example, China produces 10 times more plastic waste than Malaysia. However, 9% of Malaysia’s total plastic waste is estimated to reach the ocean, compared to 0.6% in China.
The Philippines – an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands with 36, 289 kilometers of coastline and 4,820 plastic-emitting rivers – is estimated to emit 35% of the ocean’s plastic.
Apart from the Philippines, more than 75% of the plastic that accumulates in the oceans is said to come from unmanaged waste in Asian countries including India, Malaysia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Thailand.
The only non-Asian country to make this top 10 list is Brazil, with 1,240 rivers including the Amazon.
Trash Or Recycling? Why Plastic Keeps Us Guessing.
The first, and most obvious, way to reduce plastic accumulation is to reduce the use of plastic. Less production equals less waste.
Many high-income countries generate large amounts of plastic waste, but are better off either processing it or exporting it to other countries. Meanwhile, many of the middle-income and low-income countries that demand and bulk export plastic have yet to develop the infrastructure needed to process it.
This article was published as part of Visual Capitalist’s Creators Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite creators around the world.
Mapped: China’s $18 trillion economy in a chart visualizing China’s $18 trillion economy Unmanaged plastic waste by country, Asia’s biggest source of electricity Where do the world’s super-rich live? Mapping the World’s Largest Rice Growers Visible: Corruption in Countries Around the World
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Energy Life Cycle Emissions: EVs vs. Combustion Engine Vehicles We look at the carbon emissions of electric, hybrid, and combustion engine vehicles by analyzing their life cycle emissions.
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According to the International Energy Agency, the transportation sector is more dependent on fossil fuels than any other sector of the economy. In 2021, it accounts for 37% of all CO
To gain insight into how different vehicle types contribute to these emissions, the graphic above visualizes the lifecycle emissions of battery electric, hybrid and internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles using the Polestar and Rivians Pathway Report.
Community Empowerment Can Solve The Plastic Crisis
Life cycle emissions are the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted throughout a product’s existence, including its production, use and disposal.
Here’s an overview of the 2021 lifecycle emissions of mid-size electric, hybrid and ICE vehicles at each stage of their lifecycle using tCO
While it is not surprising that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) have the lowest lifecycle emissions of the three vehicle segments, we can also draw some other insights from the data that may not be so obvious at first.
As we move towards a carbon-neutral economy, battery electric vehicles can play an important role in reducing global CO
What Percentage Of Plastic Is Recyclable And How Can We Increase It?
Despite their lack of tailpipe emissions, however, it’s worth remembering that many phases of a BEV’s life cycle are still quite emissions-intensive, especially when it comes to manufacturing and power generation.
Improving the sustainability of battery production and encouraging the adoption of clean energy sources, therefore, can help further reduce the emissions of BEVs, leading to increased environmental stewardship in the transportation sector.
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Up to 90% of the trash floating in the oceans and littering our shores is plastic. Plastic can harm wildlife, damage coastal habitats, impact local economies, and even threaten human health.
Ocean Trash: 5.25 Trillion Pieces And Counting, But Big Questions Remain
Even if you don’t live near the coast, your plastic waste can still find its way into the ocean. A plastic water bottle thrown on the street can end up in stormwater drains, rivers and streams, and the ocean.
Plastic debris comes in many different forms and shapes that we buy and use ourselves, including disposable water bottles, plastic grocery bags, fishing nets, fishing lines, plastic cups and lids, packaging, balloons and straws. In marine environments, such debris can harm wildlife when animals mistake plastic for food, or accidentally entangle themselves in plastic litter floating on our coastlines or in the ocean.
Plastic does not biodegrade. Instead, once released into the environment, it breaks into smaller and smaller pieces the longer it is exposed to the sun; A process called photodegradation. Any plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in diameter are classified as microplastics. Although small, these pieces of plastic can have a huge impact on the health of the ocean.
Some microplastics can start as small as end up in the ocean. Microbeads were used in products such as face scrubs and exfoliators; However, microbeads were phased out under national law in 2015.
Plastic Water Bottle Pollution: Where Do All The Bottles End Up?
Even clothes contain microplastics. These “microfibers” are the result of washing polyester, rayon and other synthetic fabrics. In a recent study, microfibers accounted for 97% of all microplastics found in national park beach sand. Although wastewater treatment plants filter out most microfibers, some microfibers still pass through their systems and end up in our waterways and oceans.
Plastic poses a serious threat to our oceans and waterways. Birds, turtles, fish and other marine animals eat plastic fragments mistaking them for fish eggs, plankton, jellyfish or other food sources. Every year, tens of thousands of marine animals, both large and small, die from complications related to plastic debris – their stomachs may be filled with plastic they cannot digest, or they may become fatally entangled in the debris.
Harmful chemical pollutants can attach to plastic and add to the toxicity of plastic debris ingested by animals. Human health risks from microplastics in seafood are currently being assessed.
While the dangers of plastic may seem overwhelming, individual actions can make a big difference! Be a part of the solution! Here’s how:, J.R., Andrady, A., Geyer, R., Narayan, R., Perryman, M., Siegler, T., Wilcox, C., Lavender Law, K. , (2015). Input of plastic waste from land to sea, Science, 347, p. 768–771.
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Good morning everyone. My name is Jenna and I am an Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Georgia. When I had to choose a focus in environmental engineering, I fell in love with the study of solid waste, otherwise known as garbage, or anything you recycle or throw away every day. The reason I found waste so different from designing water or wastewater facilities was that it involved people so closely. And people react strongly to it – especially when a waste management system can be physically close to them. Yet it is something we create and manage every day. So when I talk today, I’m going to go over a lot of numbers, but as I do, I hope you remember the same thing I do – that there are always people behind those numbers.
It seems like we’ve been hearing a lot lately about concerns about plastic in our oceans and estimates of plastic in the oceans. Research interest in this topic has grown tremendously in the last 10 years. And the results you hear today stem from a scientific working group that the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis established over 3.5 years.
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