Since the 1950s, one billion tons of plastic have been discarded.

During the first year, sales of Coca-Cola averaged nine drinks a day, adding up to total sales for that year of $50. Today, products of The Coca-Cola Company are consumed at the rate of more than 1.8 billion drinks per day.FAQs: The Coca-Cola Company


In October 2006 when I started my plastic boycott I saved all my plastic for a week. The amounts of waste we, a fairly green couple, produced was worrying.

11% of household waste is plastic, 40% of which is plastic bottles, during 2002 plastic bottles worth around £27 million were disposed of at a cost of £45 million

We use 15 million bottles a day every day in the UK

British consumers got through nine billion pints of milk last year. 90% of that milk was bought in a plastic container.

Turn the world state we use 15 million bottles a day every day in the UK – Which is backed up by the Independent which states that Britons use 275,000 tons of plastic bottles each year – 15 million a day.

The UK produces about 330 million tonnes of waste a year, a quarter of which is from homes and business.

  • 275,000 tonnes of plastic are used each year in the UK, that’s about 15 million bottles per day.
  • Most families throw away about 40kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled.
  • The use of plastic in Western Europe is growing about 4% each year.
  • Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose.

13 billion plastic carrier bags are used in the UK each year. Shoppers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year.

Each UK household produces over 1 tonne of rubbish annually, amounting to about 31 million tonnes for the UK each year.

 Waste on line , are keen to tell us that we generate 3 million tonnes of plastic waste annually 56% of which is used packaging, three-quarters of which is from households. They estimated that only 7% of total plastic waste is currently being recycled.

2011 Government Statistics for the UK – rather different story – but still not good.

Plastic 2,515,809 Total packaging waste arising (tonnes) 609,910 Total recovered/recyled (tonnes) 22.5 EU Target (%) 24.2 Recovery/recycling rate (%)

13 billion plastic carrier bags are used in the UK each year. Shoppers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year.

See what everyone else is throwing away here….


Plastics consumption is growing about 4% every year in western Europe.

We produce and use 20 times more plastic today than we did 50 years ago!


In 2010, Americans created  31 million tons of plastic waste. It consisted of

  • 14 million tons of containers and packaging,
  • 11 million tons as durable goods, such as appliances,
  • 7 million tons as non-durable goods, for example plates and cups.

(ermmm that makes 32million tons?…)

Only 8 percent of the total plastic waste generated in 2010 was recovered for recycling.

  • Only 12% of bags, sacks, and wraps were recycled

These figures are from the U.S Environmental Protection Agency who go on to note

“The recycling rate for different types of plastic varies greatly, resulting in an overall plastics recycling rate of only 8 percent, or 2.4 million tons in 2010. However, the recycling rate for some plastics is much higher, for example in 2010, 28 percent of HDPE bottles and 29 percent of PET bottles and jars were recycled”.

According to the Beverage Marketing Corporation, Americans bought a total of 31.2 billion liters of water in 2006, Most of this water was sold in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, requiring nearly 900,000 tons of the plastic and more than 106 billion megajoules of energy.


Californias governing body have this to say “In the United States, consumers use 100 billion plastic bags annually, but fewer than 5 percent of plastic bags are recycled, which means they eventually end up in landfills, open spaces, or waterways.

  • Californians use an estimated 12 billion plastic bags annually. That’s almost 400 bags per second.
  • In California, approximately 247 million pounds—that’s 24 billion bags!—end up in landfills every year.
  • California spends approximately $25 million annually to landfill discarded plastic bags. Public agencies in California spend more than $300 million annually for litter abatement.”


13 billion plastic carrier bags are used in the UK each year. Shoppers worldwide are using approximately 500 billion single-use plastic bags per year.


This fantastic collection of photos shows what people eat in a week the world over. Humbling? yes…but also check out the packaging! Way to go Japan!


The problem with plastic waste,  is that plastic doesn’t  biodegrade. There are no natural processes in place that can absorb plastic back into the biological cycle. Drop it and leave it, as  with an apple core say, and rather than rot away, it stays there…for decades, maybe centuries, possibly for ever.

So it has to be specially disposed of. It has to be collected up and specially treated. Either burnt or buried or, in very small amounts, recycled.

And we are using this product to make one use throwaway items.

The result? Everlasting litter! That’s just dumb.

Yet simply by saying no to unneccessary plastic, you can cut your pile of trash almost completely.

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5 thoughts on “Plastic Trash By Country

  1. Pingback: Filthy Mayhem in India–Cars, Lorries and Weddings by Graham Peebles – Dandelion Salad

  2. Thanks for dropping by and reblogging. I will be adding more awful statistics as I find them! Yes, even if developing countries do produce less plastic waste, and as you say that is hard to confirm, they also have less resources to deal with it so plastic pollution is far more evident. Very very sad.

  3. Most governments in third world countries don’t know how much garbage is created daily. We are trying to get some sense into one African economy: So far the questions have not been answered as to how much Plastic waste is actually produced each day. I have been given a figure in-comprehensive.
    Total waste combined has been named as 1,200 tons a day, or 36 tons a month, out of which 5.6 % supposedly is made of combined plastic ( 3 layer BOPP sachets, PET bottles, HM, HDPE, LDPE, and PVC.
    If this figure is accurate ( which I doubt ) then we have an annual plastic waste generation of 2,016 MT a month.
    This figure is very doubtful.
    There is no effective waste management in place, and as such most of the plastic bags end up washed up on beaches.. A horrible sight on the Island.
    It seems that we are doomed.

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