In previous years, you may have heard about a garbage pile the size of Texas floating in the ocean or turtles dying from ingesting plastic straws.
While these are popular examples of how littering is negatively impacting the environment, you might be surprised to know that without serious changes, by 2050, global waste will rise by 70%, up to 3.4 billion tons.
If you’ve ever really wondered, why is littering bad? We’ve got some shocking littering facts to help get you in the spirit of making positive environmental changes.
Keep reading to learn more about the negative impact of littering these four surprising facts.
- Each Year Nine Billion Tons of Litter Ends Up in the Ocean
When we look at littering statistics, this is one of the most shocking to comprehend. We only generate 250 million tons of trash each year so that means that more items are being littered than are being thrown into trash bins.
While a small percentage of litter comes from items being discarded accidentally, most littering is intentional. The majority comes from motorists tossing trash out of the window or pedestrians neglecting to find a garbage bin.
For smart waste solutions and accessible bins, there are green and efficient options.
- Cigarette Butts the Number One Source of Ocean Garage
When you ask yourself, what is littering? Chances are cigarettes are not the first thing that comes to your mind.
However, over the last 32 years, over 60 million cigarette butts have made their way into landfills and polluted many of the world’s beaches, making them the largest contributor of beach trash.
Most people don’t think twice when they toss a cigarette butt out of the window of the car but, the cellulose acetate in cigarette butts can take up to 10 years to decompose.
- We Spend Over $11 Billion Each Year to Clean Up Litter
When you think about discarding garbage and waste, you don’t realize how your small actions affect the environment as a whole.
You might think that your personal efforts are not enough to make a big enough change so many of us don’t do as much as we could. We spend an incredible amount of money essentially to clean up after ourselves, which we could have done more efficiently and responsibly, to begin with.
This is money that can be used towards housing, healthcare, and other critical services, rather than cleaning up our man-made mess.
- Plastic Is a Common Killer of Marine Animals
One of the greatest detriments of glittering is the plastic waste that ends up in the world’s oceans.
Unfortunately, birds, fish, and ocean dwellers cannot tell the difference between food and trash. Not only do an estimated 100,000 marine animals die from ingesting litter, but many also become entangled or trapped in plastic waste.
Marina animals and mammals such as fish, whales, dolphins, and turtles pay the price for the way we discard trash.
Learn These Littering Facts and Stop Littering For Good
Though you might not understand how your actions can have a major impact on the health of our environment, these shocking littering facts will tell you otherwise. There are tons of plastic waste and cigarette butts accumulating in the ocean each year, dying aquatic life, and huge expenses to clean up litter, the time is now to make a positive change for the future of our environment.
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