Versatile, pliable, durable, cheap to produce—and ubiquitous. Plastic is all of that. It is also both a life-saving miracle product and the scourge of the Earth. Here are eight essential facts to keep in mind.
In December 2018, Great Britain’s Royal Statistical Society named the fact that only about nine percent of all plastic ever made has likely been recycled its statistic of the year. Read on for more facts on the global plastic pollution crisis.
This article was created in partnership with the National Geographic Society. National Geographic is committed to reducing plastics pollution. Learn more about our non-profit activities at natgeo.org/plastics. This article was first published on May 16, 2018 and updated on December 20.
ILLUSTRATIONS BY JASON TREAT
SINCE YOU’RE HERE…
… we have a small favour to ask. Hurn Publications is editorially independent, meaning we set our own agenda. Our journalism is free from commercial bias and not influenced by billionaire owners, politicians or shareholders. No one edits our editor. No one steers our opinion. This is important because it enables us to give a voice to the voiceless, challenge the powerful and hold them to account. It’s what makes us different to so many others in the media, at a time when factual, honest reporting is critical.
If everyone who reads our reporting and writing, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be much more secure. We ask that you follow us and subscribe to our publication.