- 50 percent of the plastic used in the U.S. is used just once then thrown away.
- There are over five trillion pieces of plastic, weighing more than 250,000 tons, floating in our oceans. That’s over 700 pieces of plastic per person.
- Scientists have collected up to 750,000 bits of microplastic in one square kilometer of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—that’s about 1.9 million bits per square mile. Most of this debris comes from plastic bags, bottle caps, plastic water bottles, and Styrofoam cups.
- On average, a school-age child using a disposable lunch generates 67 pounds of lunch waste per school year (40,000 pounds of lunch waste per middle school).
- Packaging accounts for nearly 32 percent of all household waste in the U.S.
- Americans discard 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.
- 40 billion plastic utensils are used every year in the U.S.
- Americans use 500 million plastic straws every day, which could fill over 127 school buses every day, or more than 46,400 school buses every year.
- About 25 billion single-use coffee cups end up in landfills every year. If you buy just one cup of coffee or tea in a disposable cup every day, you’ll end up creating about 23 pounds of waste in one year.
- Every year Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags. Worldwide more than one million plastic bags are used every minute.
Our contributing intern, Rosanna Zywietz, studied Environmental Management in Scotland, has worked in waste management and has helped companies reduce their environmental impact. She has contributed several one-page fact sheets on the origins of waste and solutions to our staggering waste problem: America's Trash, Manufacturing and the Environment, The Waste Hierarchy.
- Confessions of a Radical Industrialist
by Ray Anderson
- Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things
by Michael Braungart and William McDonough
- The Ecology of Commerce
by Paul Hawken
- Green Goes with Everything: Simple Steps to a Healthier Life and a Cleaner Planet
by Sloan Barnett
- It's Easy Being Green: A Handbook for Earth-Friendly Living
by Crissy Trask
- Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability
by Michael K Stone
- Bag It
- Flow: For Love of Water
- The Future of Food
- King Corn
- No Impact Man: The Documentary
- The Plastic Experiment
- Boycott the Baggie
- Center for Environmental Education
- Center for Ecoliteracy
- Cool the Earth
- Environmental Defense
- Global Green
- The Green Schools Alliance
- Green Schools Initiative
- Kids Konserve Waste-Free Activities for Schools
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- Plastic Pollution Coalition
- Plastic Pollution on Midway Island
- The Plastiki Expedition
- Richardson Bay Audubon Center and Sanctuary
- Sierra Club Green Home
- The Story of Stuff
- The Story of Bottled Water
- Surfrider Foundation
- Yellow Pages Print Version Opt Out
- Young Voices on Climate Change
- The Zero Waste Home
- 41 Pounds
- U.S. Green Schools Foundation