Every year at least 8 million tonnes of plastic enters our ocean - that's the equivalent of two bin lorries full every minute! (Ellen MacArthur Foundation and Jambeck et al.)  However this is just an estimate, and is likely to be much, much higher.

Even though some plastic can be recycled, only 50% of plastic in Britain actually makes it to this end, either because of mismanagement or because the technology isn't available. Furthermore, the energy required to clean, separate and melt it (to form a lower quality product - downcycling) is unsustainable and so it makes sense to cut it out from the beginning. The picture below (taken whilst on holiday) shows how one supermarket in Europe unnecessarily wraps bell peppers in plastic.

Why is this such a significant problem?

  • Every piece of plastic that has ever been produced will take between 450-1000 years to decompose (depending on the type of plastic).

  • Rubbish like this finds its way into canals and rivers and eventually the ocean.

  • Plastic in the ocean absorbs chemicals (pollution from shipping and industry) very rapidly.

  • In the ocean plastic doesn't decompose but breaks down into tiny pieces called microplastics.

  • Microplastics are easily ingested by fish and marine birds.

  • The stomachs of sea animals fill up with non-digestible mass causing them to die of starvation.

  • All of the toxic chemicals which were absorbed and the inherent toxic chemicals in plastic (such as phalates) get into the fish's organs and tissue.

  • Toxic chemicals move up the food chain in a process called bioaccumulation, meaning that our dinner plates are contaminated with toxic, endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals.

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The Clean Kilo Ltd ™ 2020

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