Sobering photos show what a week’s worth of plastic looks like for typical families around the world


plasticReuters/Navesh ChitrakarPlastic is out of control.
  • Humans produce an estimated 300 million tons of plastic every year.
  • But plastic is increasingly being recognized as one of the biggest threats to the environment.
  • Reuters sent photographers around the world to document what a week’s worth of plastic looks like for average families.

The use of plastic has exploded in the last half century, so much that we produce an estimated 300 million tons of the stuff every year.

But plastic is increasingly being recognized as one of the biggest threats to the environment – it takes so long to decompose that much of our plastic waste ends up in oceans, rivers, beaches, and other natural habitats.

How much plastic are we really using at a household level? Reuters sought to answer that question by sending photographers around the world to document a week’s worth of plastic waste generated by a typical family.

The photos are a sobering reminder of how ubiquitous plastic is in our everyday lives, from the packaging our food comes in to the shopping bags we use to carry it home.

Read on to see how much plastic a typical family generates in a week:



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