5 trillion plastic problems

Bring your own bag when you go grocery shopping. Avoid using disposable plastic ware. Cut down on bottled water.

Environmental “war cries” we are all too familiar with.

But has plastic pollution really gotten out of hand? Just how bad is it?

Scientists estimate that that are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic waste weighing about 269,000 tons floating in the oceans.

5,000,000,000,000 pieces.

If you were to line them up, they can circle the Earth 425 times or go to the moon and back twice!

Here are more facts to put into perspective the severity of plastic pollution in our oceans:

  • 5 billion kg of plastic is dumped into the oceans each year. That’s as heavy as 890 Eiffel Towers.
  • Giant whirlpools in the oceans, called gyres, trap plastic for years in the ocean. The North Pacific Gyre is so big and filled with garbage that scientists have called it the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
  • 80% of plastic debris in the ocean comes from land.

Reject, reduce, reuse

Our increasing reliance on plastic has turned plastic waste into a growing problem. It doesn’t help that this “wonder product” takes at least 500 years to degrade.

With 80% of plastic waste in the ocean originating from land, we can play a big part in reducing this amount by cutting down plastic-based disposables. Here are some simple ways to use less plastic and reduce our impact on the oceans:


If you are visiting the S.E.A. Aquarium this week, there’s more you can do:

  1. Make a photo pledge at the World Oceans Day photo booth
  2. Recycle plastic bottle caps and use them to help form Singapore’s largest plastic bottle cap mural
  3. Listen to aquarist share their experiences, and more

Join us at the World Oceans Day celebrations at S.E.A. Aquarium to learn more about plastic pollution and discover how you can do your part for ocean conservation.

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