Posted by Roger Lindley
At our general meeting on August 21st, our program speaker, Shayne Rochfort spoke to us about World Clean Up Day on September 15, Chiang Mai Clean City and what we can do to reduce, reuse and recycle and reduce the amount of plastic we put into the environment.
 
By getting involved, you will play an invaluable role in a great initiative that is set out to change the course of direction concerning the global and increasing plastic problem. With eight million tons of plastic trash ending up in the world’s oceans each year, change is immediately needed.
 
Some facts about plastic:
 
FACT #1
8.3 BILLION Metric Tons (9.1 BILLION US Tons) of plastic has been produced since plastic was introduced in the 1950s. The amount of plastic produced in a year is roughly the same as the entire weight of humanity. 
FACT #2
Virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form (with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated).
FACT #3
91% of plastic waste isn’t recycled. And since most plastics don’t biodegrade in any meaningful sense, all that plastic waste could exist for hundreds or even thousands of years.
FACT #4
500 MILLION plastic straws are used EVERY DAY in America. That’s enough to circle the Earth twice.
FACT #5
Nearly TWO MILLION single-use plastic bags are distributed worldwide every minute.
FACT #6
100 BILLION plastic bags are used by Americans every year. Tied together, they would reach around the Earth’s equator 773 times!
FACT #7
ONE MILLION plastic bottles are bought EVERY MINUTE around the world — and that number will top half a TRILLION by 2021. Less than half of those bottles end up getting recycled.
FACT #8
8 MILLION METRIC TONS of plastic winds up in our oceans each year. That’s enough trash to cover every foot of coastline around the world with five full trash bags of plastic…compounding every year. 
FACT #9
There is more microplastic in the ocean than there are stars in the Milky Way.
FACT #10
If plastic production isn’t curbed, plastic pollution will outweigh fish pound for pound by 2050.
 
So far, over 16 million people in 113 countries have joined in cleaning up illegally dumped waste.  World Cleanup Day in September 2018 will be the biggest positive civic action the world has seen.
 
Understand what a challenge this is. This will be the biggest international clean-up the world has ever seen, and probably the biggest positive civic action movement ever. The plastic trash that remains in nature might prove to hold serious consequences for us humans as well as our beautiful nature and wildlife.
 
Plastic is already infiltrated in our tap water and in various elements of our food chain - such as honey, beer, fish and other seafood. When plastics such as fishing nets and other trash floats around in our oceans, many sea mammals, fish and birds are at high risk at getting tangled in, get cuts and bruises from it or even swallow bits of tiny plastic believing it is food. Worst case, these animals die from having plastics surrounding them in their natural habitat. We need to do something about plastic pollution - now - in order to stop this horrible development before it expands any further.
 
Save the date September 15, 2018 - and encourage friends, family, neighbors and colleagues to do the same.  Everyone can participate.  Dedicate just an hour or two on that day to picking up trash in your neighborhood.

 
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