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Plastic Pollution - From Mountain Top to Ocean Bottom

PLASTIC EARTH FROM MOUNTAIN TOP TO ОСEAN ВОТТОМ It's official, plastic waste can now be found everywhere on planet Earth - from the highest mountains to the deepest oceans. A recent study by the U.S. Geological Survey found traces of microplastics in our rainwater. The ramifications of plastic in our ecosystem could be more damaging than we ever imagined... MOUNTAINS Melting glaciers are revealing decades-old litter on mountains around the world! On Mt. Everest, 50% OF HIKERS leave their litter on the mountain (Source: Nepal Government) TONS $1OF LITTER was removed from Everest's slopes in 2019 (Source: Nepal Government) RIVERS A recent study by Bangor University found traces of plastic in every British river that was tested! PLASTIC BOTTLES 450 YEARS to biodegrade ATLANTIC SALMON GRIZZLY BEAR LAKES Microplastics sink to the river bed and wash into lake basins. This reduces oxygen levels in the water, killing wildlife and allowing plastic to enter into the food chain. 22 MILLION Ibs of plastics enter America's Great Lakes every year. (Source: Rochester Institute of Technology) MICROPLASTICS BEAVER 1000 YEARS to biodegrade LANDFILL Whilst recycling is on the increase, household waste such as plastic containers, plant pots and diapers continue to fill up landfill sites. DIAPERS / NAPPIES 450 YEARS to biodegrade BEACHES Two-thirds of items that end up washed onto beaches are consumer items, such as water bottles, cigarette lighters, shoes, toys and toothbrushes. (Source: Sea Shepherd / University of Tasmania) GREEN TURTLE RING CAN HOLDER 400 YEARS to biodegrade THE OCEAN Vast quantities of 88 plastic waste accumulate out at sea. In fact, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch alone is thought to Some plastic in the patch is over contain 80,000 metric tons of plastic. YEARS 50 OLD! (Source: The Ocean Cleanup) (Source: UN Environmental Program) we FISHING LINE 600 YEARS to biodegrade COMMON DOLPHIN 150m / 50Oft Lost fishing gear accounts for In recent years, sperm whales have washed up 60% dead on beaches with up to 60 pounds of plastic in their of ALL the plastic in the ocean stomachs. The whales (Source: Eriksen et al; "Plastic Pollution in the World's Oceans") likely die of starvation as the plastic clogs their insides. SPERM WHALE 318m / 1045ft Deepest Scuba Dive (Nuno Gomes, 2005) PLASTIC BAGS 20 YEARS to biodegrade LEATHERBACK TURTLE 1,300m / 4,265ft At these depths plastic bags are easily mistaken for jellyfish; which sadly is the Leatherback's favourite food. 10,928m / 35,853ft Deepest Ocean Dive (Victo Vescovo, 2019) 11,000m / 36,000ft Even at the deepest point on earth (in the Marianas Trench) plastic waste has been discovered in the form of plastic bags and candy wrappers. The Future of Plastic For many years to come, plastic will continue to devastate our ecosystems with damaging and long-lasting consequences to our animals and their enviroments. With companies and households looking at lowering their plastic waste, redoubling their recycling efforts and turning to biodegradable alternatives, there's hope we might finally bring an end to our Plastic Earth. Sources: theguardian.com independent.co.uk phys.org earthsky.org gov.uk friendsoftheearth.uk ecowatch.com thoughtco.com wikipedia.org nytimes.com theoceancleanup.com foxnews.com bigthink.com abcnews.com CLIMADOOR climadoor.co.uk

Plastic Pollution - From Mountain Top to Ocean Bottom

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The biggest challenge that we face as a species is upon us. We are staring down the barrel of an extinction event, that much is clear and the time to reverse the damage is running out. Whether that ha...

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