Plastic and the Environment: Plastic Waste Statistics
- The total amount of plastic in the municipal solid waste stream in 2006 was almost 30 million tons (a.k.a. nearly 60 billion pounds).
- In 2006, the United States generated 14 million tons of plastic through containers and packaging.
- The amount of plastic consumed as a percentage of total waste has increased from less than 1 percent in 1960 to 11.7 percent in 2006.
- Americans drank approximately 14.7 billion cases of non-alcoholic beverages in 2004 (this includes both plastic and aluminum containers; note that aluminum cans are lined with plastic).
- Of that total, approximately 10.3 billion cases were carbonated soft drinks.
- Americans threw more than 22 billion water bottles in the trash in 2006.
- 70 million bottles of water are consumed in the U.S. each day.
- In 2006, only 7% of plastic waste produced in the U.S. was recycled.