Plastic Facts & Stats

Plastic production is at an all-time high

Whether in a landfill or at sea, plastics pose risks to the environment, and the fish, birds, animals and people who call this planet home.

What we produce

  • Globally, more than 8 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced. Nearly half of that plastic was made in the last 15 years.
  • In 2015, more than 381 million tonnes of plastic was produced worldwide. That’s more plastic than the weight of the entire human population!
  • Every minute, 1 million plastic bags are used globally. On average, these bags are used for just 12 to 15 minutes before being thrown away.

The majority of all plastic produced is thrown away, only to end up in landfills and our oceans.

What we throw away

  • Approximately 60% of all plastic ever made is now in landfills or in the environment.
  • Approximately 40% of the plastic produced each year is packaging, used once and thrown away.
  • Only nine per cent of the 3.2 million tonnes of plastic waste Canadians produce each year is recycled.

Where most of it ends up

  • An estimated 8 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans each year—that’s the equivalent of one garbage truck full of plastic every minute!
  • The vast majority (89 per cent) of plastic waste found at the bottom of the ocean is single-use (think beverage bottles, food wrappers and plastic bags).
  • By 2050, it’s estimated there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, by weight.