Plethora of Plastic

A couple of days ago, a friend of mine posted on Facebook a Telegraph article celebrating the ban of plastic water bottles along her favorite stretch of Italian coastline: Cinque Terre. Apparently 3 million (3 x 10+06) tourists have left an average of 2 million (2 x 10+06) bottles a year on these beaches–with 400,000 (4 x 10+05) bottles abandoned in August alone on this relatively tiny stretch–10 (10+01) kilometers–of UNESCO World Heritage coast.

As a comparison, in the U.S., in 1997, 4 billion (4 x 10+09) plastic bottles were manufactured; and in 2005, 26 billion (2.6 x 10+10) with only about 3 billion (3 x 10+09) being recycled. Furthermore, the making of these bottles required 15 million (1.5 x 10+07) barrels of oil annually (enough to fuel 100,000 (10+05) cars a year).

The tail end of the Telegraph article referred to the millions of tons of plastic that have been carried by 4 major currents to the North Pacific Gyre–now a swirling mass of plastic whose size is the equivalent to Texas–where Albatross chicks die because their parents mistake bottle caps for food. Charles Moore discusses this, and much more, in his TED talk:

An amazing factoid reported by Discover magazine: plastic bottles afloat in a marine environment degrade in about 450 (4.5 x 10+02) years!

Hat tips to the Telegraph, CRI–Container Recycling Institute, Charles Moore’s TED talk, and Discover magazine (October 2009 issue) with its iStockphoto.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Posted December 15, 2010 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Good day!This was a really excellent subject!
    I come from roma, I was fortunate to search your topic in bing
    Also I get much in your subject really thank your very much i will come again

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

  • Countdown to Powers of Ten Day

    • 10/10/10 2957 days ago