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The World’s Biggest Ocean Cleanup Has Officially Started

We’re at a pivotal point in history right now. We have created so much waste in an attempt to make our lives better that the planet is choking in our excess. Billions of plastic particles litter the streets, oceans, and land, and we are now realizing how dire the situation is. Companies are trying to come up with ways to get rid of all this plastic before it’s too late, and volunteers from all over the world have started to gather for community cleanup projects.

To give you an idea of the staggering amount of plastic pollution in the oceans, here are some statistics courtesy of Plastic Oceans:

  • We produce over 300 million tons of plastic every year.
  • 50% of this is for single-use purposes. We might make use of the plastic for just seconds, but it can last for hundreds of years on Earth. 
  • More than 8 million tons of plastic is dumped into the ocean annually.
  • 33% of marine species have been found tangled in some type of plastic litter.
  • Over 90% of all seabirds have plastic in their stomachs.
  • 40% of all plastic usage is accounted for by packaging products.
  • 500 billion plastic bags are used globally every year. This is over one million bags every minute.
  • In the last 10 years, we have produced more plastic than in the entire last century.


According to The Ocean Cleanup, one area where plastic has accumulated called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the largest in the world, measuring twice the size of Texas or 1.6 million square kilometers. At the time scientists did a sample, they found that there were more than 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the patch that weighed around 80,000 tons. This is equivalent to the weight of 500 Jumbo Jets. Furthermore, they said that 1.8 trillion is a mid-range estimate, and it could be as high as 3.6 trillion pieces.

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