Our global plastic pollution problem has 5 primary facets:
Over 300 million pounds of plastics are produced each year.¹ According to the EPA, only 9% of plastics in the US are recycled each year.²
Endocrine disruptors (BP-A, BP-S, BP-C, BP-B, etc.), contained in all consumer plastics, linked to increased risk for:
- breast and prostate cancer
- obesity & early-onset puberty
- cardiovascular disease
- cognitive developmental delay
- metabolic disorders & diabetes
- reproductive & sexual dysfunction
- decreased birthweight³
3. Climate Change
Plastic is made of petroleum, a valuable but non-renewable & harmful fossil fuel.⁴
4. Social Injustice
Fenceline communities, countries of the Global South, and communities of color are impacted most dramatically by single-use plastic at all stages of its lifecycle, often being directly targeted because of their limited voice and access.⁵
Plastic pollution extends beyond borders and across sectors.⁶
- Gourmelon, Gaelle. “Global Plastic Production Rises, Recycling Lags”. VitalSigns. Worldwatch Institute, 2015.
- “Advancing Sustainable Materials Management: 2014 Fact Sheet”. United States Environmental Protection Agency, November 2016. p. 8. <https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-11/documents/2014_smmfactsheet_508.pdf>
- Vom Saal, F and Hughes, C. “An Extensive New Literature Concerning Low-Dose Effects of Bisphenol A Shows the Need for a New Risk Assessment”. Environmental Science Perspectives, 2005 (Vol. 113, No. 8). Pp. 926-933.
- Gourmelon, Gaelle. “Global Plastic Production Rises, Recycling Lags.” VitalSigns. Worldwatch Institute, 2015.
- Graham, JD et al. “Who lives near coke plants and oil refineries An exploration of the environmental inequity hypothesis”. Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, 1999 (Vol 92, Issue 2).
- Jambeck, Jenna et al. “Plastic waste inputs from land into the ocean”. Science, 2015 (Vol. 347, Issue 6223). pp. 768-771.
- A Brief History of Plastic The Brooklyn Rail, 1 May 2005
- Six data visualizations that explain the plastic problem DW Made for Minds 30 December 2016
National Microplastics Field Methodology Review Abigail Barrows April 2017