PLASTIC IS FOREVER. Every bit of plastic that has ever been produced still exists, except the relatively small amount that has made it to a waste facility and been incinerated. Plastic does not biodegrade. It breaks down into ever smaller pieces that can attract toxic chemicals and enter the food chain even at the microscopic level.
LESS THAN 25 PERCENT OF PLASTIC IS EVER RECYCLED. Many people do try to reuse plastic bags for their trash or to clean up after their pets, and plastic bags may have a useful consumer life of a few hours or days — but because of an immense global production rate and an equally immense problem with disposal, most plastic bags will remain in a landfill or the environment forever.
OUR OCEAN IS FULL OF PLASTIC. It is estimated that 70 percent of the trash in our oceans is plastic. Millions of tons of plastic enter our ocean every year, and it’s been estimated that there are about 270 million tons of plastic currently in the ocean. There are “garbage patches” throughout the ocean, but no, they are not islands of trash miles long. They are much more insidious, you can hardly see the plastic because it has become so small. Think of it as a “plastic smog,” a phrase coined by our friends at 5 Gyres.