Spiraling Out of Control

SPIRALING Out of Control Plastic Buildup in our OCEANS

Plastics Above Sea Level

Creating the plastic we use requires approximately 8 % of our oil reserves


That equates to the amount of oil used by all of Africa

It takes about 14 liter of oil to produce a 1 liter water bottle


We have produced more plastic in the last 10 years than we did in the whole of last century

Almost 12 of the plastic we use is used just once and then thrown away



50 million tons of plastic

242005 million tons of plastic

Shoppers worldwide use approximately 500,000,000,000single - use plastic bags annually

That s about 1 million bags every minute across the globe or 152000 bags every year for every person on earth





If you joined them end to end, the bags would circumnavigate the globe 4, 200 times

It takes just 4 family shopping trips to accumulate 60 shopping bags

A plastic bag has an average working life of 15 minutes

Only 1 in 5 plastic water bottles are recycled

Americans throw away 35 billion plastic water bottles every year

Plastics Under Sea Level

Plastic has been found in all of the major oceans, not just areas of human habitation

Every year, 6. 4 million tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean

This is the same as 1, 982008 miles of trucks loaded with plastic

There are an estimated 5. 25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean

Of that, 269,000tons float on the surface

And around 4,000,000,000plastic microfibers per square kilometer cover the deep sea

100, 0 marine creatures die every year from plastic entanglement

Entanglement rates of up to 7. 9 % have been discovered in some species of seal and sea lions

31 species of marine mammals are known to have ingested plastic


x10, 0

Roughly 1,000,000sea birds also die from plastic consumption or entanglement

At least 2 / 3 of the world s fish stocks are suffering from plastic ingestion

A plastic bag can kill fish and animals because it does not biodegrade

When the animal dies, the plastic bag is released into the environment again

Another animal could fall victim to the same fate

Plastic breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces ( though never fully degrades )

Those smaller pieces enter the food chain and release chemicals into the fish that eat them


is a collection of marine debris in the North Pacific Ocean. Also known as the Pacific trash vortex.

Spans waters from the west coast of North America to Japan

The warm water from the South Pacific meets up with cooler water from the Arctic


This moves debris back and forth between the Western Garage Patch ( located near Japan ) to the Eastern Garbage Patch ( located between Hawaii and California )

Patches are made up almost entirely of tiny bits of plastic called microplastics, which can t always be seen by the naked eye

80 % of the debris in the GPGP comes from land - based activities in North America and Asia

Trash from the North American coast takes about 6 years to reach the GPGP

Trash from Japan and other Asian countries takes 1 year

The remaining 20 % of debris comes from :


Large cargo ships that dump or lose debris directly into the water

Offshore oil rigs


Most of this debris is fishing nets : about 705, 0 tons

Dropped shipping containers have released computer monitors and LEGOS

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

North Pacific


Subtropical Convergence Zone


Western Garbage Patch

Eastern Garbage Patch or North Pacific Subtropical High

North Equatorial

Since the GPGP is so far from any country s coastline, no nation will take responsibility to fund a clean - up effort

It would take an estimated 67 ships and one year to clean up less than 1 % of the North Pacific Ocean

There are 5 ocean gyres in the world where plastic gathers due to current circulation

These gyres contain millions of pieces of plastic

Wildlife feeds in these areas

The 5 Gyres

North Pacific Gyre

North Atlantic Gyre

South Atlantic Gyre

South Pacific Gyre

Indian Ocean Gyre

Rotating ocean currents, called gyres, carry debris into five concentrated areas

46 % of plastics float


Plastic can drift for years before eventually concentrating in ocean gyres

Scientists have identified 200 areas declared as dead zones where no life organisms can grow

What Are We Doing About It ?

Marine litter - plastic waste in particularis a global problem

The vast majority of plastic waste ends up in landfill sites

A significant proportion of plastic gets into our waterways and eventually ends up in oceans





Plastic waste on coastlines is more prevalent around more populated coastal areas, but once plastic enters the ocean, global currents distribute it around the world

Concerns of energy consumption within the plastic industry have prompted growth in bioplastics


Bioplastics are derived from renewable bioproducts, including :


Food processing

crops and crop residues, dried distillers grains

byproducts, residues, other materials

• They account for 10 - 15 % of the global market...

Bioplastics are not a perfect solution - many products can take decades to degrade and they can release methane gasses

Ireland introduced a $ 0. 15 plastic bag tax and reduced their usage by 90 % in just one year

Now they tax $ 0. 22 per bag

It costs the Australian government more than $ 4 million to clean up plastic bag litter each year

The floods in Bangladesh in 1988 and 1998 were worsened by plastic bags clogging drains

Since then, the government has banned plastic bags

In 2010, the Cinque Terre region of Italy banned plastic bottles

An estimated 2 million bottles were left behind by tourists annually


There s no shortage of plastics collecting in our oceans. Buildup of plastics and partially broken - down plastics harm human and aquatic life. Think twice about your plastic use to help prevent more plastic pollution in our waterways.





Spiraling Out of Control

shared by Ghergich on May 20, 2015 in Environment


12 faves



It’s time to face the facts: our plastic usage is out of control; and unfortunately, most of it ends up in our oceans. has created an infographic entitled "Spiraling Out of Control", ...
Category: Environment


Custom Made


Did you work on this visual? Claim credit!

Embed Code

For hosted site:

Click the code to copy


Click the code to copy
Customize size