90.5% of plastic ever created, has not been recycled
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT (...and trigger warning for our eco friends)
90.5% is the portion of plastic ever created, that has not been recycled.
This, is the statistic that the BCC, and the Royal Statistical Society has named the best (most important) statistic of 2018.
It's the shocking and motivating statistic we've been trying to nail down for the better part of 18 months.
The statistic comes from a report by R Geyer, J R Jambeck and K Lavender Law. They have spent the last few years very deep in the state of plastic production and recycling around the world.
If you've ever spent a little bit of time on the topic, you'll know how difficult it is to find supported numerical evidence on the matter of recycling. Every country has a different methodology for dealing with, and reporting on plastic waste, meaning it really would (did) take years to reach any kind of supported conclusion.
Such a stark statistic really highlights how important it is to engage your eco-brain long before you throw something into the recycling.
Approximately one tenth of the plastic in your household will make it out for another life. That might be the lid of your milk bottle. Half the shampoo pump. The zip lock on your dog food bag. NOT MUCH.
We encourage you to embrace this statistic.
Use it any way you can. Share it with your closest friends (if they're close enough, you can be that person), your favourite brands and businesses, and your local government.
Recycling is and should be the last port of call.
The message has not changed in decades. Reduce first. Reuse second. Recycle third, and pray that your plastic is the lucky plastic makes it out for another life.
If you want to reduce the amount of plastic used in your laundry, please do clean with Dirt. It uses up to 90% less plastic than a standard supermarket liquid, on a per load basis.
If you want to eliminate plastic, please do join our refill return program. We use this program to keep all our packaging, in our system.
If you want to do more, you already are! We donate 50% of pour profits back to The Ocean Cleanup. Go you good thing!
We know that this is a global statistic, but we do believe that it's not far off the state of play in Australia. WWF released a statistic in 2017 (pre China's ban on accepting our waste) suggested that only 12% of plastic waste in Australia is recycled. We're just not sure what's happened since that statistic was released, but we'll bet that it's not improved.