Per capita plastic products consumption (Kg/Person)
In US 109 KG per annum per person plastic is consumed, India has one of the lowest at 11 KG per annum per person of plastic consumption with a global average of 28 KG per person per year.
My calculation shows it could be anywhere between 60 Tonnes to 6000 Tonnes in one’s lifetime. Every human by the time he or she dies and its body disintegrates back in the earth, the plastic debt it leaves behind keeps on accumulating without being recycled.
Plastic Debt is the amount of plastic in our lifetime that we are leaving behind as waste.
If we were to trace back to the beginning of plastic, the first synthetic plastic – Bakelite – was produced in 1907, which is seen as the beginning of the global plastics industry. Over the next 65 years, annual production of plastics has increased nearly 200-fold to 381 million tonnes in 2015.
This is roughly equivalent to the mass of two-thirds of the world population. By 2015, the world had produced 7.8 billion tonnes of plastic- more than one ton of plastic for every person alive today.
The ocean pollution is a massive challenge, of enormous magnitude and the impact is has on life is appalling. Just to give an idea the amount of known waste floating on surface which is just a part of the pollution in the water is approximately 5 trillion pieces, to help visualize, think about taking all the plastic and lining it up.
Do you know how far a distance it could go?
It would be enough to cover the distance from Earth to the Moon and Back, Twice!
What one should realize about marine animals dying from plastic is not the number of deaths, rather the process which leads them to death. The thing with death of animals consuming plastic is it’s not instantaneous death. Lot of these birds and animals eat the plastic thinking it is food, only for the plastic to get stuck in their stomach or intestinal lining.
Some creatures like turtle have downward facing spines in their throats which prevent the possibility of regurgitation. Most animals are unable to get the plastic outside their body once they swallow it. Which leads to either blockage of their stomach and intestine. This prevents them from consuming food leading to starvation. Imagine not being able to eat anything and starving to death slowly and painfully. The question that begs to be asked is, do they really deserve this, because we are careless, careless not to dispose our waste responsibility.
Did you know many sea turtles commonly deal with “bubble butts,” turtles that float as a result of trapped gas caused by harmful decomposition of marine debris inside a turtle’s body? The gases cause the turtle to float, which leads to starvation or makes them an easy target for predators.
Around 1 million marine animals and 100,000 sea creatures are killed annually by plastic pollution.
They include mammals, fish, sharks, turtles, and birds. According to a research recently 80% of fish in amazon has plastic in them. Around 8% of seals have found to be entangled with fish.