Plastics are an incredible material, made to last forever. But around 40% of all plastics are thrown away after just one use! Single-use plastic continues to be on the rise, and statistics show that more plastic will be used in 2021 than in all of history combined (if that doesn't scare you, we don't know WHAT will!). Of course, we all want to do the right thing, but it's hard when we don't have all of the facts on plastic pollution. 

Fortunately for you, BioFlexx has done all the research you need to understand the facts on plastic pollution and why our compostable products make sense for your business and the environment.

According to several recent studies, 11 Of the WORST Single-Use Plastics in 2021 are:

1) Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are everywhere, and for some reason, we keep producing more of them. Around 80% of plastic bags are used in North America, and many businesses continue to use disposable plastic shopping bags even though most countries have banned their usage. It is estimated that around 500 billion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide each year. That is an incredible number! Plastic bags are one of the most lethal plastic killers found in oceans. Small animals, seabirds and even turtles often get entangled in them and drown. Turtles mistake them for their favourite food, jellyfish. Once eaten, these soft plastics block their stomachs and cause the poor creatures to starve. 

2) Plastic Cutlery

Plastic cutlery is one of the most harmful plastics for sea turtles, birds and marine animals. If you are eating take-out foods or at a restaurant, these items can quickly end up in our oceans (especially if they aren't compostable). Recent studies found that less than half (44%) of all disposable utensils thrown away end up being recycled. Take Albatrosses, for example - who are more prone to eating these harmful bits because they scoop their beaks through the water with incredible speed while they search for dinner; if there's any foodstuff on top, then there's a pretty good chance the Albatross will get a mouthful of forks and spoons instead of sea creatures. And boy, oh boy, does this stuff pack a punch: sharp edges can cause severe injuries inside an animal's digestive system, leading to complications such as blockages, perforations, or infection.

4) Plastic Bottles & Caps

Around 480 billion plastic bottles and caps are manufactured each year, with most ending up in landfills or the ocean. One million single-use plastic water bottles are purchased every minute globally! Almost all plastic water bottles we use once will end up as trash, many of which make their way into oceans worldwide. That's a lot of bottles, especially when you consider that most water bottle companies don't even offer recycling services.

5) Plastic Straws & Stirrers

While plastic straws are not one of the top ten single-use plastics (they were ranked twelfth), they pose an environmental hazard, and many governments have started banning their usage. In addition, some companies have started banning plastic straws due to public pressure and ecological campaigns across the globe! In Australia alone, an estimated 10 million straws are used every day. These little pieces of plastic take up to 200 years before they break down and start poisoning our planet. They can also get painfully lodged in the nostrils and throats of marine life, especially sea turtles.

6) Plastic Packaging 

In 2015 around 299 million tonnes of plastic packaging were produced globally - that's a huge number! While single-use compostable plastics are increasing in popularity, many companies still use plastic for their products, resulting in waste. In addition, plastic packaging is hazardous to our environment as it often ends up in landfills, composts or the ocean.

7) Balloons, Balloon Sticks and Ribbon

Balloons and balloon sticks are a huge danger to wildlife. In the stomachs of animals who ingest balloons, the stretchy material can wrap around organs causing starvation. It also strangles turtles and other unfortunate creatures caught up in the strings and ribbons from blown-up balloons. Did you know seabirds have been found poisoned after eating only one piece?

8) Polystyrene Takeout Boxes (Styrofoam)

Polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) is a terrible chemical in our environment, and it's even worse for you! These single-use plastics are known to cause cancer and can seriously harm your pets if accidentally ingested. They can also end up in landfills and composts where it takes more than a century for these not-so-convenient-after-all-take-out-boxes to break down. Wildlife also suffers from choking on bits of Polystyrene or starving because it's impossible to digest. 

9) Cotton Swabs

Cotton swabs are being produced at a rate of 1.5 billion every day, with the average person disposing of 415 cotton swabs in their lifetime! Sadly many will eventually end up in our oceans, where they can cause problems for wildlife and humans alike through ingestion or entanglement, among other things. When the cotton dissolves, all that's left is a rigid plastic stick that can be easily mistaken for food by birds, fish or other wildlife. This is one of the most common reasons sea turtles end up in the hospital!

10) Bottle Caps & Lids

A study by the North Sea Foundation found that 80% of beachgoers leave behind plastic bottle caps in the sand. These tiny pieces of trash can cause severe problems for marine life, such as seabirds and turtles who mistake them for food. Ingesting bottle caps and lids can prevent creatures from eating full meals. In addition, harmful plastics take up so much space in the stomach lining, causing anorexia and slow, painful deaths. Marine turtles are particularly susceptible to fatal repercussions because they can't regurgitate any hard substance that they swallow. This is due to a set of downward spikes located on their throat, which prevents them from vomiting.

11) Coffee Cups & Lids

Not so fun fact. Your paper coffee cup cannot be recycled. Paper cups might seem like an eco-friendly option; however, paper cannot hold liquid on its own, so paper cups are lined with polyethylene. This is an effective moisture barrier between your hand, your coffee cup and your pumpkin spice latte, but it also prevents acids that assist in breaking down the cup over time. In addition, plastic lids are typically made from polypropylene or styrene #6, a petroleum-based plastic that's difficult to recycle. This makes them bad for the environment and not eco-friendly at all!

Just Say NO to Single-Use Plastics

Plastics can serve many essential functions, but single-use plastics aren't necessary for everyday life, considering so many sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives exist. Furthermore, they have caused severe damage to the environment and should be limited in use or outright banned if possible because of their detrimental effects on the environment. 

Compostable and Eco-Friendly Solutions for Your Business 

It's not all doom and gloom when you look at the compostable industry and how it grew roughly 20% last year alone. That's why BioFlexx offers compostable solutions that are scalable, viable and can be used by various businesses. In fact, most companies that switched to compostables saved an average of $500-$1000 per month on their waste removal bill. At BioFlexx, we provide safe and eco-friendly compostable solutions to help your business find a smart alternative to single-use plastic products. 

Get a Free Sample - a Turtle Will Thank You!

If you have any questions about how our company works or what an environmentally friendly solution might look like for your organization, contact BioFlexx today for your free sample. We are happy to answer all of your questions and present some options that align with your business needs.

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