The world is facing a plastic pollution crisis, and showing no signs of slowing down. By 2021, plastic bottle consumption is suspected to be half a trillion. This is a 20% increase on our current plastic pollution state around the world.
We have all experienced or heard about recent climate change and unexpected extreme temperatures happening in cities and countries globally. But have you thought about your plastic consumption and the effect it has on the environment?
Plastic pollution is now and should be seen has an equal threat to climate change as the epidemic is affecting all organisms and natural habitats around the world.
How Many Plastic Bottles Purchased A Day?
Mainly due to urbanisation “on the go” lifestyle and poor local water supplies about 20,000 plastic bottles are bought every second, amounting to a million plastic bottles bought every minute. Can you imagine the build-up of plastic pollution yearly or three years from now?
Plastic and the Environment
Microplastics are posing serious risks to marine life such as whales, sharks and other species. These sea creatures swallow hundreds of indigestible plastics daily, releasing harmful toxins into their bodies and disrupting their normal nutrient intake.
Plastic pollution is threatening human health too, plastics have been found in fish and shellfish and the consumption of these seafood results in ingestion of tiny pieces of plastic every year.
Current UK Plastic State
Over 35.8 million bottles are consumed every day in the UK. Now you might be thinking where does it all go once used?
Don’t be surprised to find plastic bottles and packaging swarming your favourite beaches and coastlines in the UK during the summer. Astoundingly, just over half make it to recycling, and the rest ends up in landfills, where upon, burnt and leaked into the environment.
UK Plastic Solutions
China has stopped accepting foreign waste, this has become a problem for the UK as 500 000 tons of UK plastic was being shipped to China a year.
Great Britain is now faced with the task of finding alternative solutions to slowing down plastic pollution in its cities.
To reduce plastic waste, a scheme in Brighton is offering free water bottle refills in shops and cafes.
Water UK have noticeably seen the success of this initiative and is hoping to bring this refill scheme to every major town in England by 2021.
Another initiative the UK government will try and adopt is the Norwegian way of recycling, known as the deposit system.
Consumers will pay a small charge on each plastic bottle bought in the shops, similar to the current plastic bag policy in the UK. However, when the plastic bottle is returned to the shop or a recycling machine, consumers will get refunded for the charge.
Recycling machines will offer customers shop vouchers or the option of making a charitable donation.
This recycling system has had immense success in Norway, attributing to the countries 97% recycling rate compared to Great Britain’s 50%.
It’s time to start reducing your plastic waste and contribute positively to the environment. At Pressure Coolers, we offer a range of drinking water fountains, the ideal solution to reduce plastic pollution in schools, homes and public environments.
Too read more interesting statistics about plastic pollution around the world and in the UK see the infographic below.