For this year’s Earth Day (April 22), earthday.org is committing to “end plastics for the sake of human and planetary health, demanding a 60% reduction in the production of ALL plastics by 2040.”

This year’s program aims to raise awareness of the health issues posed by plastics, which are affecting all living creatures. As plastics break down into microplastics, they enter our water supply and food chain and circulate through the air we breathe. Microplastics and the chemicals derived from plastics are being found in our blood and tissue, as well as in animals and sea life.

Some startling facts:

More plastic has been produced in the last ten years than in the entire 20th century.

More than 500 billion plastic bags – one million bags per minute – were produced worldwide last year.

Americans purchase about 50 billion water bottles per year, averaging about 13 bottles/month for every person.

95% of all plastics in the U.S. won’t be recycled at all.

79% of plastic that has ever been made still sits in landfills or the natural environment.

For information on Earth Day events in the Boston area, visit earthdayboston.org.

Photo by Naja Bertolt Jensen on Unsplash