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      We have become addicted to single-use plastic. Disposable plastic has severe environmental consequences. Globally, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute and up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. In total, half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once and then thrown away. 
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      Researchers estimate that more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic have been produced since the early 1950s. About 60% of that plastic has ended up in either a landfill or the natural environment.
      Since the 1950s, the rate of plastic production has grown faster than that of any other material. We’ve also seen a shift away from the production of durable plastic towards plastics that are meant to be thrown away after a single use. More than 99% of plastics are produced from chemicals derived from oil, natural gas and coal, all of which are dirty, non-renewable resources. If current trends continue, by 2050 the plastic industry could account for 20% of the world’s total oil consumption. 
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      These single-use plastic products are everywhere. For many of us, they’ve become essential to our daily lives.

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       We need to slow the flow of plastic at its source, but we also need to improve the way we manage our plastic waste. Right now, much of it ends up in the environment. Only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled. About 12% has been incinerated, while the remaining 79% has accumulated in landfills, dumps or the natural environment.
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       Rivers carry plastic waste from deep inland to the sea, making them major contributors to ocean pollution.

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      A staggering 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the world’s oceans every year. How does it get there? Much of it comes from the world’s rivers, which serve as direct conduits of trash from the world’s cities to the marine environment.

      These 10 rivers alone carry more than 90% of the plastic waste that ends up in the oceans.

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       Plastic waste — whether in a river, an ocean, or on land — can persist in the environment for centuries.

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      The same properties that make plastics so useful (their durability and resistance to degradation) make them nearly impossible for nature to completely break down. Most plastic items never fully disappear; they just get smaller and smaller. Many of these tiny plastic particles are swallowed by farm animals or fish who mistake them for food, and can find their way onto our dinner plates. They’ve also been found in a majority of the world’s tap water.
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      More pollution facts