The average life span of the endangered sea turtle species is 80 years. That pales into comparison when you realise that plastic in our oceans can take hundreds of years to degrade.

It takes a staggering 500 years for the fashionable coffee pods that are being used in hundreds of homes globally to biodegrade in our oceans. But they’re not the only day-to-day product that will outlast each and every one of us.

From the day we are born and put into disposable nappies/ diapers we’re already leaving our plastic footprint behind. They, alongside our everyday plastic toothbrush, can take up to 500 years to decompose. Take a look at the graphic below from the WWF to get a clear picture of how long plastics ‘live’ in our oceans.

The lifecycle of plastics WWF Australia – Stef Mercurio

Our endangered species are suffering

When you consider that 10% of the 260 million tons of plastic the world produces each year, ends up in the Ocean – we really need to put that into perspective. Let’s look at the average lifespan of some of our endangered sea creatures.

  • Sea Turtles (various species) – 80 years
  • Blue Whale – 80 -100 years
  • Fin Whale – 85- 90 years
  • Stellar Sealion – 20-30 years
  • Hammerhead Shark – 25 – 35 years
  • Hectors Dolphin – 15-18 years

According to some statistics, the plastic waste that ends up in the ocean every year is expected to double by 2025.

More shocking is that it’s been quoted “By 2050 there would be more plastic in the ocean than fish!”

Time to make a change?