Plastic Pollution Facts

Plastic pollution is an urgent global crisis.

Even if you don’t see discarded plastic in your community, tiny pieces of plastic have been found everywhere around the world, from the highest mountain peaks to the deepest ocean trenches.

Plastic is found in the water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe, the soil below us, and even inside of our bodies.

Plastic pollution is a human health, social justice, environmental, climate, and wildlife issue. People and communities across the world are finally waking up to the fact that plastic pollution impacts everything.

We invite you to learn the facts about plastic pollution and to join us in changing the system away from single-use plastics and toward just, equitable solutions that benefit the health of humans, animals, waterways, oceans, and our environment.

Quick Facts

Plastic Pollution & Its Impacts

Plastic & Climate

Plastic & Climate

Ninety-nine percent of all plastics are made from petrochemicals derived from fossil fuels—gas, oil, and coal—and drive the climate crisis. Despite the urgent need to cut our reliance on fossil fuels, the plastics and petrochemical industries plan to triple plastics production by 2060—threatening our chances of keeping global temperature rise below the critical 1.5-degree Celsius threshold. By 2050, plastic production and disposal could generate greenhouse-gas emissions equivalent to 615 coal plants annually and use up to 13% of Earth’s remaining carbon budget. Microplastics and nanoplastics may be interfering with the ocean’s ability to absorb and sequester carbon, our biggest natural carbon sink. Learn more about the connections between plastics and the climate crisis from this webinar and in this one-page explainer.

Plastic & Social Justice

Plastic & Social Justice

Plastic pollution is an environmental and social justice issue which disproportionately impacts Black, Brown, and Indigenous (BIPOC), and rural and low-income communities. These systemic injustices are built into government policies, society, and our economy. There is a strong connection between environmental and social injustice, racism, and classism and exposure to air pollution caused by waste incineration, landfills and illegal dumps; industrial water and soil contamination; heightened risk of accidents and explosions; and myriad other environmental injustices in the US and globally. We recognize that these are all part of a single, globally connected Movement for Justice. Vulnerable communities deserve protection and respect.


To Stop Plastic Pollution