A study by Euromonitor international revealed that human beings buy a million plastic bottles every minute, and that number is likely to jump 20 percent if trends continue. That comes out to something like 20,000 bottles every second and around half a trillion bottles a year.
Guess where most of them end up? Do they get recycled, turned into shoes, teeshirts, and other articles of polyester clothing? Sure, some do. But only somewhere around 7%. The rest winds up in the oceans or in landfills, where they take 500 years to degrade and yet never fully biodegrade. Instead, degrade into little micro plastics that contaminate the soil and water. At this rate, it’s estimated that there’s gonna be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050.
From the Guardian article:
Major drinks brands produce the greatest numbers of plastic bottles. Coca-Cola produces more than 100bn throwaway plastic bottles every year – or 3,400 a second, according to analysis carried out by Greenpeace after the company refused to publicly disclose its global plastic usage. The top six drinks companies in the world use a combined average of just 6.6% of recycled Pet in their products, according to Greenpeace. A third have no targets to increase their use of recycled plastic and none are aiming to use 100% across their global production.
Plastic drinking bottles could be made out of 100% recycled plastic, known as RPet – and campaigners are pressing big drinks companies to radically increase the amount of recycled plastic in their bottles. But brands are hostile to using RPet for cosmetic reasons because they want their products in shiny, clear plastic, according to Steve Morgan, of Recoup in the UK.
Cheerful thoughts, huh? In the meantime, get a reusable bottle.