ADDRESSING AN ISSUE
OF GLOBAL PROPORTIONS

Plastics have helped improve living standards, hygiene and nutrition around the world, especially in developing countries. Rapid increases in incomes and prosperity have brought many of the conveniences of modern life. But used plastics have become a global environmental challenge.

Plastic Waste Facts & Statistics From
Around The Globe


Plastics have changed the world. However, the rapid growth of middle-class and industrial economies has drastically increased the world’s plastic consumption in recent decades – and infrastructure development has not kept pace. The result is a dramatic increase in plastic waste.

  • Here we see that in 2010:

  • global primary production of plastic was 270 million tonnes;

  • global plastic waste was 275 million tonnes (and can exceed annual primary production through wastage of plastic from prior years);

  • plastic waste most at risk of entering the oceans is generated in coastal populations (within 50 kilometres of the coastline); in 2010 coastal plastic waste amounted to 99.5 million tonnes;

  • only plastic waste which is improperly managed (mismanaged) is at significant risk of leakage to the environment; in 2010 this amounted to 31.9 million tonnes;

  • of this, 8 million tonnes – 3% of global annual plastics waste – entered the ocean (through multiple outlets, including rivers;

  • an estimated 10,000s to 100,000s tonnes of plastics are in the ocean surface waters (several orders of magnitude lower than ocean plastic inputs). This discrepancy is known as the 'missing plastic problem'.

How Plastic Enters The world Ocean’s

Global Plastics Production

Cumulative global plastics production

Global plastic waste by disposal

Primary plastic production by industrial sector, 2015

Plastic waste generation by industrial sector, 2015

Plastic waste generation per person, 2010

Surface plastic mass by ocean basin, 2013

Plastic ocean input from top 20 rivers, 2015

Sources of Plastic Marine Debris

  • All Areas
  • 0.5 Million
  • 0.5 - 2 Million
  • 2 - 10 Million

We are sure we cannot do this alone, lets do it together.