By Jen Babakhan
NEW YORK (Readers Digest) — Our plastic obsession is harming the planet. But by making a few tiny tweaks, you can help combat this environmental crisis in a big way.
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America, we have a plastic problem. Each year, Americans use a whopping 100 billion plastic bags. Believe it or not, they would circle the equator 773 times if tied together. Every minute, people around the world buy a million plastic bottles, and less than half of them are recycled. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The plastic in landfills can take up to 1,000 years to decompose, and it’s not just clogging our landfills—it’s killing our sea life and devastating coastal ecosystems.
Experts estimate that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile of ocean, and plastic bags are the most devastating item among the 5.25 trillion pieces now in the sea, according to the Australian eco-organization Ocean Crusaders. Why? Plastic packaging and bags can kill one animal after another. Just one bag may kill an animal that ingests it, which then decomposes, freeing the bag for another animal to ingest and creating a never-ending death cycle. Here are 50 more facts that will make you want to stop using plastic for good.
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