Plastic’s scary stats

By Benalla Ensign

■Over the next 20 years, plastic production is expected to double.

■Every Australian uses around 65kg of plastic each year and about one third of that is single-use disposable packaging.

■Plastic waste represents around 10 per cent of all waste disposed of to landfill in Victoria.

■Plastics in the environment break down into smaller and smaller pieces.

■More than 10 million new lightweight plastic bags are handed out in Australia every day.

■50 million of these end up as litter every year, polluting our streets, parks, rivers and oceans. These bags block storm water drains, cause waterway and habitat disruption and are consumed by native wildlife.

■Plastic bags and plastic packaging are by far the greatest contaminant in local government recycling streams.

■Less than 5 per cent of plastic bags in Australia are recycled.