More than 37 million pieces of plastic debris have accumulated on a remote island in the South Pacific, thousands of miles from the nearest city, according to estimates from researchers who documented the accumulating trash.
Plastics are overwhelming our oceans and landfills. Every year, an estimated 19 billion pounds of plastic garbage end up in the sea. In the U.S. alone, approximately 56 billion pounds of plastic are dumped annually in landfills.
But here’s a heartening truth: We can all do something to mitigate this growing plastics crisis. Yes, all. From entrepreneurs and corporations who need to rethink the way plastic products are designed and manufactured; to lawmakers who can push for the protection of fragile environments from plastic pollution; to individuals (that means you) whose seemingly small daily actions can add up to something huge, we all have a role to play.
In general, less than 7 percent of all the plastic that Americans throw away each year are recycled, and about 8 percent are combusted in waste-to-energy facilities. The rest end up in landfills.
An average American family of four uses more than 1,500 plastic bags every year, according to the NRDC. Each bag is typically only used for about 12 minutes; yet since plastic bags are very rarely recycled, most of them end up in landfills, where they can languish for hundreds of years.
According to Rubbish Party’s website, Cogley founded the party in March “to rid the local community of all types of ‘rubbish’ from wasted resources to littering and dog fouling. Households are facing council tax increases alongside cuts to services, it is therefore imperative that wastage is removed and that money is spent wisely.”