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At Optimum, we’re constantly looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly. This is a core belief that our company is based around. We believe in the power of cutting down on the use of plastic to create a healthier planet. Why? Well, think of it this way: every piece of plastic ever made still exists somewhere on the Earth. This explains why plastic is the most pervasive type of pollution. That being said, it’s also inexpensive, which leads so many to utilize it for single-use purposes. Unfortunately, with demand so high, single-use plastics are destroying our natural environment.

Today, Optimum will be sharing five facts about single-use plastics that you may not know. It’s up to us to say no to single-use plastics and, after reading this list, we’re confident that you’ll see the importance of this environmental issue. Here’s what you need to know about single-use plastics.

1. Single-Use Plastics Account for Half of All Plastic Thrown Away

Believe it or not, throw-away packaging made of plastic accounts for more than half of plastic thrown away on the planet and over 42% of non-fiber plastic (such as polyester) produced each year.

While not all of this plastic waste will pollute the natural environment, it can be dangerous even when left in the landfill. This is because throw-away plastics that find themselves on top of the landfill can be carried away by animals or even the wind. On the other hand, plastics that can get buried at the landfill sometimes leak harmful pollutants into the ground and water.

2. Millions of Tons of Single-Use Plastics End Up in the Ocean

A whopping 32% of the 78 million tons of plastic packaging produced each year ends up in the ocean. To put this into perspective, that’s roughly the same as one dump truck of plastic being dumped into the Earth’s oceans every minute. Without action, this number is likely to double by 2030. By 2050, this number will have doubled once again.

3. 500 Billion Disposable Cups Are Used Each Year Worldwide

If you use Styrofoam cups regularly, you’ll likely be shocked by this statistic. Twenty-five billion Styrofoam cups are thrown away every year, and that’s just in the United States alone. On a worldwide scale, 500 billion disposable cups are disposed of in a single year. This is harmful to the environment in that Styrofoam cannot be fully recycled. This means that most of it will end up in the landfill. Shockingly, even in 500 years, the Styrofoam that we throw away today will still exist somewhere.

4. Single-Use Plastic Straws Are a Big Issue

We’ve all used single-use plastic straws at one point or another, and this may seem harmless enough. Unfortunately, like all single-use plastics, these straws are rarely recycled and can cause significant damage to our environment. Fortunately, however, more and more companies around the world seem to be banning single-use plastic straws.

In 2019, the EU Council adopted measures proposed by the European Commission designed to tackle single-use plastics. Known as the Single-Use Plastics Directive, this directive states that by the end of 2021, EU member states will be required to ban products such as disposable straws, plastic stirrers, and single-use cutlery and plates. These items listed above were chosen as they make up 70% of all marine litter.

5. The Average American Uses 13 Plastic Bottles Each Month

Finally, it is essential to note that the average person uses an astounding 13 plastic bottles each month within the United States alone. If we all chose to use a reusable water bottle instead, each person could save a total of 156 plastic bottles from entering the waste stream every year. Want to eliminate your use of plastic bottles entirely? Well, we have a solution for that.

Go Green with Optimum Bottleless Water Coolers!

Now that you know the scope of the adverse effects that single-use plastics have on the environment, it’s time to go green! Fortunately, there are few better ways to eliminate single-use plastics from your everyday routine as with Optimum bottleless water coolers. Not only are bottleless water coolers great for the environment, but they’re also great for your wallet and your employees!

Whether you’re looking to make your business greener, want convenient access to fresh water in your home, or want to eliminate single-use plastics from your life, Optimum’s bottleless water coolers are the solution you’ve been looking for. Equipped with a 5-stage filtration process, our systems remove chlorine, bacteria, and sediment from your drinking water, resulting in fresher, cleaner, and better-tasting water. Check out our selection today!