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Plastic Facts

Plastic Facts:

Right now it is estimated that up to 12 million metric tons of plastic—everything from plastic bottles and bags to microbeads—ends up in our oceans each year.

A study predicts there could be more plastic than fish by 2050.

Only 9 percent of all plastic is recycled, 12 percent is burned, and 79 percent is in landfills and our oceans.

Around the world, an estimated one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year when they become trapped in plastic or eat it mistaking it for food. It is one of the biggest threats to all whales and dolphins occurring throughout the world’s oceans.

Something like an apple will start to turn brown and decompose, and eventually see its last day, like most things in nature, while there’s plastic from 100 years ago still around today. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade, which means once it’s made, it can take many years to disappear. Some plastic never does.

Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the Earth four times.

8 million tons of plastic enters our ocean from the land each year.

The USA uses an average of 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour.

1 million sea birds die every year from plastic pollution.

Plastic items can take up to 1000 years to decompose in landfills. Plastic bags we use in our everyday life take 10-1000 years to decompose, while plastic bottles can take 450 years or more. Americans only recycle 0.6 percent of the 100 billion plastic bags they take home from stores every year; the rest end up in landfills or as litter.


Globally humans buy a million plastic bottles per minute—91 percent of which are not recycled.

Climate change due to human activity has led to record-breaking rapid warming of the Earth’s oceans over the past few decades. This warming has contributed to rising sea levels, ocean acidification, the destruction of coral reefs and marine life, and declining ocean oxygen levels.


Now let’s take another look

Into the mind of Billie the Octopus

You are just the person she’s been wanting to tell

About what’s going on to her home

Because she knows that you can help!


Instead of using plastic water bottles, get a reusable one.

When grocery shopping, tell your parents to come with their own reusable bag to put groceries in instead of walking out with a plastic one.

When you do use plastic, always put it in the recycling bin instead of the garbage.

Don't eat seafood and don’t go fishing!

Don’t support aquariums or marine parks, and don’t buy a fish as a pet. If you already have a pet fish at home, find out ways to make life for your fish better.

Find out about organizations doing good things and how you can support them.

Urge your elected officials to protect and defend our oceans.

Educate your family and friends about what you learned in this book.