Plastic bags are lethal. Plastic kills at least 2 million birds, whales, dolphins, seals, seal lions and turtles every year. They choke or get tangled in the plastic and die. Or they eat plastic, leading to internal infections, starvation and death.
There are 46,000 – 1,000,000 pieces of plastic debris floating near the surface of every square mile of ocean worldwide. Nearly 90% of floating marine litter is plastic. 100 million tons of plastic has entered the world's oceans. The amount of plastic doubles in the worlds oceans every three years.
Plastic does not dissolve; it breaks into tiny pieces and stays there for up to 1,000 years, contaminating soil, waterways and oceans and entering the food web when eaten by animals. At this size it is eaten by every single organism in the world's oceans including the great Blue Whale.
Since the 1950ies almost every piece of plastic that we have ever made, used and thrown away is still here on this planet and will be here for centuries to come.
About four-fifths of all marine litter comes from land, swept by wind or washed by rain off highways and city streets, down streams and rivers, and out to sea. Also some is fly-tipped off cliffs and dumped off beaches. Only 20% comes from boats.
This information is taken from the meticulously researched website by Rebecca Hosking. All facts were checked by four independent experts and come from scientific research.