When will we admit that we are living in a plastic society? Plastics have been killing marine life, disrupting the hormones in our bodies, and clogging up landfills for too long. Now, it is threatening the very livelihood of our planet. The world’s largest environmental movement, Earth Day, is on Sunday, April 22 — and this year it’s all about ending plastic pollution, motivating us to be the change and reduce our use of plastics.

Here are 8 mind bending pictures that put plastics into perspective:

 

1. The United States alone produces enough microbeads to cover 300 tennis courts. Every. Single. Day.

underwater tennis court

Microbeads are tiny pieces of plastic commonly found in toothpastes and bath products of all types of brands. Not only do they enter our oceans to harm wildlife, they enter our bodies from the seafood we eat too! No wonder the UK banned them. In fact…

 

2. There are more pieces of microplastics in our oceans than stars in our galaxy

milky-way

500 times more than the number of stars in our galaxy, to be exact. Think about that the next time you look up at the stars.

But it’s not just microplastic particles that’s concerning…

 

3. The world’s biggest soft drinks brands pump out 2 million tons of plastic bottles every year. That’s more than the weight of 10,000 blue whales.

blue_whale

Although most soft drinks companies — which by the way are selling millions of tonnes of plastic bottles every year– are now working on reducing their carbon footprint to battle climate change, few are actually taking responsibility for all their plastic bottles found in the oceans.

 

4. A diaper will outlive the baby wearing it for more than five generations.

diaper pile

And when you think that a newborn uses up to 300 diapers a month, that’s a lot of generations of poopy plastics hanging around the planet. Luckily, there are more environmentally-friendly options out there, like the cloth diaper, or those made with recyclable materials.

 

5. Every year, New York alone discards enough single use plastic bags to stretch to the moon and back 13 times.

earth moon

Cities like Austin, Chicago, Cambridge, Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco have taken the lead to ban them.

 

6. The world’s plastic could bury Manhattan two miles deep.

manhattan

The plastics industry has produced more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic since the 1950s – all of which still exists, since it takes 450 years for plastic to decompose.

So a lot of these plastics all end up — you guessed it — in our oceans:

7. There’s enough plastic on the ocean’s surface to go to the moon and back – TWICE.

ocean surface plastic

Not to mention that 94% of plastics actually end up on the seafloor, let alone stay the surface.

 

Read more: 10 Facts About the Ocean You Probably Didn’t Know

 

8. Yep, a single plastic bag lasts 22 million times longer than the time it is used.

plastic ocean

Which makes us ask… is it really worth it?

We are all part of the problem. Let’s be part of the solution. Sign Earth Day’s petition to end plastic pollution and don’t forget to share this article. 

Top 10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day, Everyday!

 

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