Shocking Facts About Littering and Its Effects

Looking for some littering facts and statistics?

Littering affects the environment in some alarming ways and if we don’t become more conscious about the effects of littering on our planet then by the time we get serious about doing something about it… it may be too late.

Littering Facts

1. Cigarette butts are the most littered object in the world, as much as 50% of all litter.

2. Littering is illegal and punishable by fines and even jail time.

3. A dead whale was found in the Philippines with 88 lbs of plastic bags in its stomach, due to littering in the world’s oceans.

4. Throwing a banana peel out of the window is considered littering by most local laws.

5. It can take a plastic bag up to a thousand years to decompose.

6. It is estimated that over 100,000 marine animals die each year due plastic ingestion or entanglement.

7. According to a recent study in Tennessee, 28% of litter is considered intentional and 72% is considered negligent.

8. In another study done in Tennessee, the majority of people who intentionally litter were found to be the ages of 18 and 34.

9. As much as 9 billion tons of litter end up in our oceans each year.

10. In a recent survey, 75% of people admitted to littering in the last 5 years.

11. Fast food trash is the second most littered item, just after cigarette butts.

12. There are 5.25 trillion pieces of trash in the world’s oceans, and counting.

13. Cigarette butts can take up to 10 years to decompose.

14. A million birds die each year as a result of littering.

15. The U.K. has the worst reputation for littering in the world.

16. People on the move are responsible for over half of the world’s litter annually whether driving, walking, or cycling.

17. The large majority, as much as 70%, of the ocean’s billions of tons of litter sinks straight to the bottom.

18. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest accumulation of floating plastic trash in any ocean, is located halfway between Hawaii and California and covers an area twice the size of Texas.

19. The state of South Carolina is the worst offender in the U.S. when it comes to littering, Washington being the best when it comes to littering.

20. Littering is illegal in all U.S. states and punishable by fines, 23 of those states may even punish a littering offense with jail time.

21. Littering can lead to bear attacks. Once a bear associates litter with food with humans, they become bolder and will approach people for food, even attack in some rare instances.

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