The #DirtyDozen continues to fuel the plastic pollution crisis and fill the Ocean and air with their carbon emissions.
Our findings yet again have highlighted the systemic problem the UK faces with plastic and packaging pollution. The root cause is the overproduction and overconsumption of non-essential, single use, throw away items, including virgin plastics made from crude oil.
Recent studies have found the production of one single-use 500mL plastic bottle can produce around 82.8 grams of carbon dioxide. This all adds up and Scientists estimate that the carbon footprint of plastic production is a significant factor in climate change. In 2015, plastics were accountable for 4.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, meaning that if plastics were a country, it would be the fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.
Crude oil rigs are utilised to dig up crude oil needed for creating plastic and, as a result, have terrifying and far reaching consequences for the planet. Not only are they among the highest carbon emitters in Europe, CO2 emissions released into the atmosphere from extracting North Sea oil and gas reached 13.1 million metric tonnes in the UK in 2019, or 21 kg of carbon dioxide for every barrel of oil produced. Crude oil rigs also pollute the water with chemical byproducts and microplastics, disrupt marine mammals and tear up sea beds and impact precious marine ecosystems.