Recycling plastic might be one of the most sobering realities for the health of the environment.


According to a study published in Science Advances in which global plastic use was examined, it was discovered that mankind’s recycling of plastic has been woefully inept.


The study found that only a mere nine percent of all plastic ever produced has been recycled. Obviously, that means that most of the plastic, a staggering 91 percent has not been disposed of properly. This 91 percent number likely does not match up with most people’s perception of plastic use.


Another eye-opening statistic from the study is that 79 percent of all trash in landfills is of plastic origin. Every year a truly shocking 8 million metric tons of plastic is dumped into the ocean.


Mankind is using a mind-boggling amount of plastic. Since plastic’s widespread use began in the 1950s, 8 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced. Note, that number is 8 billion metric tons and not simply 8 billion pounds. Americans throw away 35 billion plastic bottles and 5 trillion plastic bags every year.


Further adding to the dilemma is the fact that recycling isn’t as meaningful and useful as it once was to the masses. Many people don’t yet realize that many communities have actually abandoned their recycling programs. Now, more than ever before, it is vital for individuals to find ways to reduce their plastic consumption in their homes if we are to turn the tide in favor of our environment. Reducing use is the best starting place.


There are a range of ways the average person can reduce their plastic consumption. Consumers can opt to buy products that have been created using recycled materials, such as sweaters and sneakers, or home building products that are built using recycled plastics. When we buy with a conscious effort, looking for products made from recycling, it communicates that recycling is important and creates a trickledown effect that increases the demand for recycling throughout our world.