Plastic Is a Global Issue
“More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year.” - Plastic Oceans International
The proliferation of plastic products in the last several decades has been extraordinary. Quite simply, humans are addicted to this nearly indestructible material. We are producing over 300 million tons of plastic every year, 50% of which is for single-use purposes – utilized for just a few moments, but on the planet for at least several hundred years. More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into our oceans every year.
Christmas Island is Heavily Affected
"The amount of marine debris in this region is overwhelming" - Tangaroa Blue
"The remote location of the Indian Ocean Terrories, combined with the predominant ocean currents and winds that surround them, results in the islands being inundated by rubbish from all countries bordering the Indian Ocean"
The amount of marine debris in this region is overwhelming and highlights the enormous issue of plastics in our oceans. This region has more marine debris than any other WA NRM region and may have the largest of all Australian islands. The graphs showing item density for this region require a completely different scale given that over 25,000 items can be collected per km, compared to other WA NRM region where between 100 and 1200 items per km may be collected.Litter and plastic remnants from South East Asia are washed ashore by the South Equatorial Current, while debris from Southern Indian Ocean latitudes conveyed by the West Australian Current are also deposited on these beaches depending on the time of year.
Plastic Production is Increasing
Half of all plastics ever manufactured have been made in the last 15 years.
Production increased exponentially, from 2.3 million tons in 1950 to 448 million tons by 2015. Production is expected to double by 2050.
Plastics often contain additives making them stronger, more flexible, and durable. But many of these additives can extend the life of products if they become litter, with some estimates ranging to at least 400 years to break down.
Plastic is Infecting Our Oceans
"Every minute, one garbage truck of plastic is dumped into our oceans" - Earth Day.org
The amount of plastic in the ocean is set to increase tenfold by 2020
By 2050 there will be more plastic in the oceans than there are fish (by weight)
Plastic is found in the ocean as far as 11km deep, meaning synthetic fibers have contaminated even the most remote places on Earth
Many marine organisms can’t distinguish common plastic items from food. Animals who eat plastic often starve because they can’t digest the plastic and it fills their stomachs, preventing them from eating real food