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We use a CRAZY number. Like, an unfathomable, almost unbelievable, wild amount of plastic bottles.
481.6 billion bottles were used worldwide in a single year. That’s the number from 2018, according to Reuters Drowning in Plastic (check out the whole feature if you haven’t already). Let’s break down what that means:
40 billion plastic bottles were used each month
1.3 billion plastic bottles were used each day
54.9 million plastic bottles were used each hour
And...almost 1 million plastic bottles are used every minute
And while it’s a bit less scientific, we like to remind people that translates to 5,500 plastic bottles in the literal blink of an eye.
Plastic bottles are, of course, only part of the plastic waste stream. Euromonitor International cites that “as of 2015, approximately 6,300 metric tons (Mt) of plastic waste had been generated, around 9% of which had been recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment.”
Sometimes these problems are so massive, they’re even hard to imagine...and therefore hard to relate to. Reuter’s does a great job of visualizing the size of the waste stream.
Here’s one last comparison for before you go: if you divide the total annual usage by the current world population (7.8 billion, by the way), that would be 62 plastic bottles for every single human on Earth per year.
If you must use bottled water, choose the most sustainable option you can find. Open Water is packaged in the most recycled and recyclable aluminum packaging and 100% climate neutral.
Curb plastic waste with us by becoming a member, and use code ‘MEMBER25’ to get 25% off your first subscription delivery.