• 8 Startling Facts About Plastic Pollution & 8 Things You Can Do About It!


    We all know plastic pollution is a problem, but to what extent?  Here we not only share eight mind-blowing facts about plastic pollution in Australia and around the world but, most importantly, eight ways you can do something about it!

    Before we get into the need to know interesting facts about plastic, here are a few misconceptions about plastic that even environmentally conscious activists and enthusiasts alike might not know.

    How long does it take plastic to decompose?

    It takes a plastic bottle 450 years to decompose completely. But why does it take so long? For an element to decompose, it requires bacteria to consume it. Like all living organisms, Bacteria need fuel, but plastic contains chemicals that make it near impossible to consume.

    How much plastic is in the ocean currently?

    Current records show there is 269 million tons of plastic in the ocean. Most of this comes down to micro pieces of plastic that accumulate to 5.25 trillion individual pieces. This number is almost unfathomable for humans, but to put it into perspective, it’s almost double the number of trees on Earth.

    It’s forecast that if there isn’t a dramatic decrease in the number of unrecyclable plastics by 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish.

     8 interesting facts about plastic

    1. Humans have produced more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic since 1950

    That’s crazy – that’s more than a tonne for every person currently alive on our planet! The Guardian Australia reported that figure in 2017, and it is expected to reach 34 billion tonnes by 2050.  Where are we going to fit it all? This growth is largely due to ‘convenient’ single-use containers, wrapping and bottles.


    Choose a reusable as much as possible. These plant based reusable wax wraps from Wrappa are the perfect replacement for plastic cling wrap, for example. Made from cotton and candelilla wax, they can be buried or added to your compost at the end of their useful life.


    8 facts about plastic pollution and 8 things you can do about it | Biome Eco Stores

    2. 700,000+ microfibres are released per wash

    For an average wash load of 6 kg, over 700,000 microfibres are released and end up in our waterways, oceans and food chain.


    Wash your clothes in a microfibre laundry bag. The bag catches the microfibres before they wash down the drain. You can buy this bag here.


    8 facts about plastic pollution and 8 things you can do about it | Biome Eco Stores

    3. 73% of beach litter is plastic

    Worldwide, 73 % of beach litter is plastic such as filters from cigarette butts, bottles, bottle caps, food wrappers, grocery bags, straws and polystyrene containers.


    Next time you grab takeaway, collect it in your own reusable container and your own reusable cutlery and napkin, like our Good To Go takeaway bundle. This handy bundle features a 700ml stainless steel container, 750ml insulated stainless steel water bottle, stainless steel straw and straw cleaning, bamboo cutlery set, napkin, and a little pouch to carry it in.

    8 facts about plastic pollution and 8 things you can do about it | Biome Eco Stores

    4. Cash wasted on more than 1 million plastic bottles per minute!

    And that number is set to increase by another 20% by 2021 if we don’t act now.


    Most of us have a reusable bottle lying around – now is the time to get in the habit of using it.  We’ve offered the best reusable water bottles at Biome since we began 15 years ago!

    8 facts about plastic pollution and 8 things you can do about it | Biome Eco Stores

    5. Around 500 billion disposable coffee cups are produced each year

    And most cannot be recycled due to what they’re made of.

    We see more “bio cup” options made from plant plastics, but please be aware that unless you live in an area that offers industrial-scale composting that can handle these materials, these “biodegradable” coffee cups will still end up as trash.


    Take 10 minutes and dine in at the cafe, make your own coffee at home or work, or use a reusable coffee cup instead.

    8 facts about plastic pollution and 8 things you can do about it | Biome Eco Stores

    6. At least 32 enlightened countries have banned single-use plastic bags

    Why are plastic bags bad for the environment?

    • Plastic bags are said to take up to 100 to 1000 years to decompose; but scientists aren’t entirely sure of this claim because plastic hasn’t been around long enough for anyone to see it first-hand!
    • There are 160,000 plastic bags used every second. And from all plastic-based products used worldwide, only 9 % are recycled.
    • Due to the lightweight nature of plastic, bags float long distances and occupy ocean currents contributing to a large percentage of the ocean’s pollution. This has contributed to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which covers 1.6 million square kilometres.


    You don’t need to live in an area where single-use plastic bags are already banned to be part of the change. Switch to reusable now.  Shop our reusable bag choices here.


    8 facts about plastic pollution and 8 things you can do about it | Biome Eco Stores

    7. Only 9% of all plastic produced have been recycled

    That means that only 9% of the more than 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic ever produced has been recycled. The rest has ended up in our environment, in landfills or incinerated.


    Refuse plastic as much as possible, and opt for products made from or packaged in biodegradable materials like wood or cardboard. The multi-purpose chunky block of household soap from That Red House can replace liquid dishwashing detergent, hand soap, and general cleaning soap in the kitchen and household, even outdoors, helping you save the waste and production of plastic bottles.8 facts about plastic pollution and 8 things you can do about it | Biome Eco Stores

    8. Plastic waste is killing millions of marine animals every year

    According to the United Nations; plastic waste kills up to 1 million sea birds, 100,000 sea mammals, marine turtles and countless fish every year. That’s plasto-cide!


    Switch from cotton buds with a plastic stem to cotton buds with a bamboo stem. And lots of other zero waste and reusable items here.8 facts about plastic pollution and 8 things you can do about it | Biome Eco Stores

    Change these interesting facts about plastic into a thing of the past.

    We hope you’ve enjoyed these 8 interesting facts about plastic, but we implore you to do more than just write or repeat them; act on them and encourage others to do the same!

    Plastic Free July is just around the corner, so why not join the challenge to reduce plastic waste. Keep an eye on the Biome Facebook and Instagram page – we’ll have lots of tips to help you on your journey.

    Get ready now, read our Plastic Free July blog post with tips to make this year your most successful yet!