The environmental impact

  • Oil, a non-renewable natural resource, whose extraction and processing requires energy and intensive techniques that destroy sensitive ecosystems, is used indispensably in the manufacture of plastics.
  • Both the manufacture of plastics and their incineration and burial pollute the air, land and water and expose people and animals to toxic and carcinogenic chemicals.
  • 95% of the food comes from the soil. 60-70% of the soil is unhealthy. 50 billion euros are lost every year due to soil degradation (17).
  • Microplastics, which arise from plastics during their use or even more so if they are exposed to the sun or sea, are more dangerous as their size means that they are taken up by small fish and phytoplankton and thus enter the food chain (16).
  • A plastic bag takes about one second to make, 15 minutes to use and 10 to 50 years to decompose, depending on the environment in which it is found.
Image by Hans from Pixabay

Plastics injure marine animals, which often get caught in the large plastic pieces or pass the smaller ones for food. This has the effect of preventing them from digesting normal food and attracts toxic substances into their bodies.

People eat plastic through the food chain.

Only 5% of the value of plastic packaging remains in the economy – the rest is discarded (11).

Image by Hans from Pixabay

Single-use plastics are the largest group of litter on the coast. Products such as plastic cutlery, plastic bottles, cigarette butts and cotton buds make up almost 50% of litter at sea.

To address the issue, the EU has imposed a ban on single-use plastics for which there are easy alternatives: cutlery (forks, knives, spoons, spoons, chopsticks), plates, straws, cotton buds, drink stirrers and balloon straws.