facts about plastic in the ocean

Imagine taking a bath with the contents of your garbage can floating around in the water — OR — boiling your noodles with plastic particles floating around inside the pot. Just the thought makes you queasy. 

We don’t live in the ocean, so we aren’t subjected to living amongst the trash that is collecting inside of it. Did you know that there are so many cigarette butts that find their way into the ocean that fish are mistaking them for food?

Learning More is the Start to Change

Human beings are responsible for a collection of jarring effects on the ocean caused by plastic waste. Whales, dolphins, sea birds, seals, seal lions and millions of fish are dying off and many of their babies barely get a chance to live a year. 

These are terrible truths, but we gotta dive in the deep end and face them before there is no time left to make a change. After all, once the ocean dies, it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the Earth follows. Keep reading for five devastating facts about plastic in the ocean.

1. The Ocean Collects Upwards of 8 Million Tons of Plastic Every Year

At this point no one is in the dark about the fact that plastic is filling up the ocean. It’s been going on for years, and the numbers just keep rising. This plastic ranges from plastic bags and bottles to tiny pieces that have come from larger objects. 

2. More Than 50% of Sea Turtles Have Eaten and Swallowed Plastic

And that isn’t all. Just like rocks, plastic bottles break up into tiny pieces as they are jostled around in the ocean. Some of these pieces become so tiny you can’t even see them. A study  done by CSIRO found that sea turtles that eat 14 pieces of plastic have a 50% chance of dying. With these stats, they will not be existing on this earth for much longer.

3. There is More Plastic in the Sea Than Stars in the Galaxy

And not just more, but the plastic outnumbers the stars by 500 times. In 2017 this awareness started to spread worldwide, causing many countries to make efforts to eliminate their single-use plastic in an effort to save the seas and oceans. The Clean Seas campaign caused 10 countries to join in these efforts, also including that by 2050 99% of Earth’s seabirds will have ingested plastic. People are aware, but the problem has not reduced enough to convince us this won’t happen.

4. We Could Have Up to 10 Times as Much Plastic in the Ocean in 10 Years 

Though people have made considerable efforts to reduce plastic waste, the problem just keeps increasing. A new study found that plastic production around the earth has quadrupled over the past four decades. It goes on to say that if this continues, “the GHG emissions from plastics would reach 15% of the global carbon budget by 2050.” The most effective change we can make now is companies providing more plastic-free products that can be reused or refilled. 

Your Clothing Counts

It is amazing that we have found the resources to be able to make clothing from recycled plastic. Imagine if all clothing companies followed suit, the amounts of waste we could eliminate! The more that each individual decides to join the recycle brigade, the more it will spread. swaggr makes extremely comfortable socks from plastic bottles. Learn more about us, our socks, and other ways to reduce your plastic use here!