Plastic Facts and Solutions

THE GREEN TEAM INITIATIVE
Young people in Arlington have stepped forward to lead in many areas of urgent environmental concern.  Arlington middle and high school students in the Green Team – an afterschool volunteer activity focused on environmental activism – researched these facts to spread the word about the dangers of plastic pollution.  Their goal? To enlist you – the public – in working to save the planet from plastic waste.
PLASTIC IS WIDESPREAD AND NEVER GOES AWAY
Plastic never truly disappears. It just breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces called MICROPLASTICS.
People across the planet are producing OVER 300 million tons of plastic a year and half of this plastic is used only once..
There are 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean. This is enough to circle Earth 400 times.
TAKE ACTION!
Support efforts to invent, distribute, and use biodegradable plastics.
Refuse single-use plastics you don’t need and use reusable containers as much as possible, like takeout food containers! Buy local to reduce shipping waste.
Work together to make a change: Arlington students petitioned and got plastic straws banned from their lunchrooms!
PLASTIC HARMS PEOPLE AND ANIMALS
The average person eats half a pound of plastic a year.
Plastic water bottles end up lying stagnant in landfills, leaching dangerous chemicals into the ground, or they infiltrate our streets as litter.
Up to 9 in 10 seabirds, 1 in 3 sea turtles and more than half of whale and dolphin species have ingested plastic objects.
TAKE ACTION!
Microplastics can’t be kept out of the food chain; organize to stop plastic at its source!
Use a reusable water bottle; the tap water is safe to drink in Arlington! If you do use a plastic water bottle, be sure to recycle it.
Going to the beach? Bring only reusable containers, and don’t litter! Go a step further and PICK UP TRASH.
THE OIL & GAS INDUSTRY IS A BIG PART OF OUR PLASTIC PROBLEM.
12 MILLION barrels of oil are needed to create the 100 BILLION plastic bags that Americans use EVERY YEAR!
Oil and gas companies are building new manufacturing plants to increase plastic production.
Oil companies are hiding plastic in everything: clothing, cosmetics, even toothpaste!
TAKE ACTION!
Use reusable bags when going shopping. Organize to ban plastic bags in your community. We did it in Arlington!
Support a candidate who has a strong environmental protection record or write to your legislators.
Look at the label before buying new clothes, try to buy textiles without plastic in them. Consider switching to natural makeup