The Pollution

Plastic pollution has become one of the most pressing environmental issues, as rapidly increasing production of disposable plastic products overwhelms the world’s ability to deal with them. Plastic pollution is most visible in developing Asian and African nations, where garbage collection systems are often inefficient or nonexistent. But the developed world, especially in countries with low recycling rates, also has trouble properly collecting discarded plastics.

How did this happen?

Plastics made from fossil fuels are just over a century old. Production and development of thousands of new plastic products accelerated after World War II, so transforming the modern age that life without plastics would be unrecognizable today. Plastics revolutionized medicine with life-saving devices, made space travel possible, lightened cars and jets—saving fuel and pollution—and saved lives with helmets, incubators, and equipment for clean drinking water.

Plastic pollution in numbers

  • 8 million pieces of plastic pollution make their way into the ocean every day. (OSPAR, 2009)
  • 12 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the ocean every year (Eunomia, 2016)
  • 80% of all studied marine debris is plastic. (IUCN, 2020)
  • 5.25 trillion macro and microplastics may now be floating in the open ocean, weighing up to 269,000 tonnes. (Eriksen, 2014)

The conveniences plastics offer, however, led to a throw-away culture that reveals the material’s dark side: today, single-use plastics account for 40 percent of the plastic produced every year. Many of these products, such as plastic bags and food wrappers, have a lifespan of mere minutes to hours, yet they may persist in the environment for hundreds of years.

1 IN 3

fish caught for human consumption now contains plastic.

90%

of plastic is made from fossil fuels

2.5 tonnes

of carbon dioxide is generated by producing 1 tonne of plastic

Frequently Asked Question

How much plastic pollution is there?

12 million tonnes of plastic find its way into the ocean every single year. 9.5 million tonnes of this enters the ocean from the land with 1.75 tonnes being chucked into the sea directly from the fishing a shipping industry.

There are approximately 51 trillion microscopic pieces of plastic, weighing 269,000 tons. That’s about the same as 1,345 adult blue whales. And 500 times the number of stars in our galaxy.

What harm does plastic pollution do to the environment?

For wildlife such as fish, dolphins, seabirds and seals it can be fatal: they can become entangled, or mistake plastic for food.

From the dead albatross in the Midway Atoll, stomachs packed full of plastic waste, to the whale found malnourished and dying off the coast of Norway with 30 plastic bags and masses of plastic packaging in its guts, too many incidents illustrate this problem with searing clarity.

does plastic pollution affect me?

With so much seafood now containing plastic, the question is no longer are we eating plastic, but how bad is it for our health? In seawater, plastic absorbs chemicals like PCBs and DDTs which have been linked to endocrine disruption and even some cancers, becoming more powerful as they work their way up the food chain. Microplastics have now been found in human blood and disturbingly known to pass from mothers to their unborn children through the placentae.

The beach is where we go to connect with nature. It’s simply not the same if it’s covered in plastic. And with coastal tourism worth £5.5 billion to the UK economy, many of us count on it being clean for our livelihoods.

Even if you don’t eat fish or go to the beach, everybody breathes. And all that essential oxygen? Marine plants produce a massive 70% of it.

But plastic isn't all bad, is it?

Plastic can be incredibly useful. Diabetics use it for syringes, arthritic patients rely on it for hip replacements, and construction workers wear it to protect their heads. Without it, we wouldn’t have computers, mobile phones or cars. The big problem? Single-use plastics and the eye-watering quantities we consume. You might use a plastic bag for just 15 minutes, but it could take 100-300 years to fragment.

What is plastic pollution?

Whether washing up on our beaches, appearing deep in the Arctic ice or poisoning marine wildlife, Plastic Pollution is plastic where it shouldn’t be. And it’s causing catastrophic harm.

How long does plastic last?

Plastic is strong, flexible and durable. The same qualities that make it so useful also mean it never really breaks down. A plastic bottle can last for 450 years in the marine environment, slowly fragmenting into smaller and smaller pieces which never truly disappear. Every piece of plastic ever produced is still with us in some form. And we’re using more plastic than ever before.

Can't we scoop it all out of the sea?

Nice idea, but not possible. Only 1% of marine can be found floating in the water. 94% has already sunk to the seafloor. And even if we tried to ‘scoop’ up that 1%, who would pay for it and what else will we catch at the same time? Plus, the majority of plastic waste is microscopic.

Say we miraculously managed to get all of these pieces – most tinier than a grain of rice – out of the sea, what would we do with it then? The only solution is to stop using more plastic.

What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

In the North Pacific, a gyre (a slowly swirling whirlpool of ocean currents) collects plastic debris. Estimates measure it at twice the size of France. Charles Moore, the oceanographer who discovered it, predicts that it will double in size over the next ten years if we don’t change our ways.

And we’re not talking about a neat island that we can tidy away, either; this is a vast soup filled with confetti-like plastic fragments. Experts believe it would take 67 ships a year to clean up less than 1% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

How to contribute?

You can play a part by following these simple steps:

– Collect: Make sure the plastic bottles are totally empty before putting them in for recycling.

– Find Bins: Use the distributed “Plastic Only” recycling bins in all offices

– Separate: Use these recycling bins only for plastic bottles and other plastic products.

– Flatten (optional): If possible, flatten bottles to save space.

– Encourage: Share the importance of recycling with colleagues

Together, we’ll make a big difference for our planet. Let’s lead the way!

Galadari Heavy Equipment Division's contribution has been saved till now.

  • 267 kg

    Waste recycled

  • 591 kg

    of CO2 reduced

We have saved the CO2 equivalent of

  • 23 Trees

    planted

  • 2955 h

    of computer consumption

  •  
    5023 km

    of driving a 4x4

  • 756 h

    of AC consumption

Plastic recycling offers numerous benefits, both environmental and economic. Here are some key benefits of plastic recycling presented in numbers:

+Energy Savings

  • Recycling 1 ton of plastic saves approximately 5,774 kWh of energy. (Source: EPA)
  • Recycling PET plastic saves 76% of the energy required to make it from raw materials. (Source: National Geographic)

+Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction

  • Recycling 1 ton of plastic can prevent the emission of around 1.98 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. (Source: EPA)
  • Recycling plastic reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 1.8 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per ton of plastic. (Source: EPA)

+Resource Conservation

  • Every ton of recycled PET plastic conserves about 3.8 barrels of oil. (Source: EPA)
  • Recycling 1 ton of plastic can save up to 16.3 barrels of oil. (Source: Earth911)

+Landfill Space

  • Recycling 1 ton of plastic saves about 30 cubic yards of landfill space. (Source: EPA)

+Economic Impact

  • The recycling industry contributes over $105 billion to the U.S. economy annually. (Source: ISRI)
  • The U.S. recycling industry provides nearly 800,000 jobs. (Source: ISRI

+Plastic Waste Reduction

  • An estimated 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced since the 1950s, of which only 9% has been recycled. (Source: Science Advances)

+Water Conservation

  • Recycling 1 ton of plastic can save up to 1,000–2,000 gallons of water. (Source: Earth911)

+Raw Material Savings

  • Recycling 1 ton of plastic saves around 16.3 barrels of oil and 98 million Btu’s of energy. (Source: EPA)

+Resource Efficiency

  • Producing plastic from recycled materials uses about 88% less energy than producing plastic from new materials. (Source: Plastics Industry Association)

+Reduced Pollution

  • Recycling plastic helps prevent plastic waste from ending up in oceans and waterways, reducing harm to marine life.

Galadari Trucks & Heavy Equipment