GBA Logo horizontal- lakesideca.info Facebook- lakesideca.info LinkedIn- lakesideca.info Email- lakesideca.info Pinterest- lakesideca.info Twitter- lakesideca.info Instagram- lakesideca.info YouTube Icon- lakesideca.info Navigation Search Icon- lakesideca.info Main Search Icon- lakesideca.info Video Play Icon- lakesideca.info Audio Play Icon- lakesideca.info Headphones Icon- lakesideca.info Plus Icon- lakesideca.info Minus Icon- lakesideca.info Check Icon- lakesideca.info Print Icon- lakesideca.info Picture icon- lakesideca.info Single Arrow Icon- lakesideca.info Double Arrow Icon- lakesideca.info Hamburger Icon- lakesideca.info TV Icon- lakesideca.info Close Icon- lakesideca.info Sorted- lakesideca.info Hamburger/Search Icon- lakesideca.info
Guest Blogs

Statistic of the Year: 90.5 Percent

If you recycled all the plastic garbage in the world, you could buy the NFL, Apple, and Microsoft

Volunteers try to clear plastic debris and other garage near the Vacha Dam in Krichim, Bulgaria. An estimated 5.7 billion tons of plastic waste manufactured in the last 60 years has not been recycled. (Photo: Dimitar Dilkoff / CC / Flickr)

This year, I served on the judging panel for The Royal Statistical Society’s .

On December 18, we announced the winner: , the amount of plastic that has never been recycled. Okay — but why is that such a big deal?

Much like Oxford English Dictionary’s competition, the international statistic is meant to capture the zeitgeist of this year. The judging panel accepted nominations from the statistical community and the public at large for a statistic they feel shines a light on today’s most pressing issues.

Last year’s winner was 69. That’s the annual number of Americans killed, on average, by lawn mowers — compared to two Americans killed annually, on average, by immigrant jihadist terrorists and the 11,737 Americans killed annually by being shot by another American. That figure, first shared in , was highlighted in a by Kim Kardashian in response to the proposed migrant ban.

This year’s statistic came into prominence from a . The chair of the judges and RSS president, Sir David Spiegelhalter, said: “It’s really concerning that so little plastic has ever been recycled and, as a result, so much plastic waste has leached out into the world’s environment. It’s a great, growing and genuinely world problem.”

Let’s take a closer look at this year’s winning statistic. About 90.5% of the of plastic waste produced since about 60 years ago is now lying around our planet in landfills and oceans or has been incinerated. If we don’t change our ways, by 2050, there will be about tons of plastic waste.

When the panel first began looking at this statistic, I really didn’t have any comprehension of what billions of tons of plastic means. Based on a and some back of the envelope calculations, that’s the equivalent of 7.2 trillion grocery bags full of plastic as of 2018.

But again, I still didn’t quite have a feel for how much that actually is. People tend to use distance measurements to compare numbers, so I tried that. Assuming that a grocery bag of plastic is about 1 foot high, if you stacked the grocery bags, you could go to the moon and back 5,790 times. That’s starting to feel a bit more real.

Some calculations based on a National Geographic article.

In fact, if you could monetize all of the plastic trash clogging up our environment — including the 12 percent that is incinerated — you could buy some of the world’s biggest businesses.

Assuming it costs to produce a plastic bottle, we can estimate that a about $1 of plastic material production. (I took a grocery bag and filled it with 31 bottles.) So 7.2 trillion grocery bags is the equivalent of a cool $7.2 trillion.

What can you ? Apple, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Walmart, Exxon, GM, AT&T, Facebook, Bank of America, Visa, Intel, Home Depot, HSBC, Boeing, Citigroup, Anheuser-Busch, all the NFL teams, all the MLB teams, and all the Premier League Football teams.

In other words, if someone could collect and recycle all the unrecycled plastic on earth, this person would be richer than any individual on the planet.

One of the most difficult aspects of statistics is putting the numbers into a context that we can wrap our heads around, into a format that means something to us. Whatever it is that speaks to you, all I can say is that this speaks to me. It’s clearly time to clean up our act.

 

Liberty Vittert is a visiting assistant professor of statistics at Washington University in St. Louis. This post originally appeared at .

0 Comments

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related

  • Article

    Creating a World-Class Recycling System

    This post originally appeared at Ensia. In a large open space overlooking central Taipei, Arthur Huang hands me a translucent, honeycomb-shaped polyethylene panel. Named Polli-Brick, this colorless module made from…

  • Lakesideca News

    We Now Have a Chance to Get Serious About Recycling

    A global plastic waste crisis is building, with major implications for health and the environment. Under its so-called “National Sword” policy, China has sharply reduced imports of foreign scrap materials.…

  • Guest Blogs

    The Plastics Recycling Challenge

    Synthetic plastics have made many aspects of modern life cheaper, safer, and more convenient. However, we have failed to figure out how to get rid of them after we use…

  • Lakesideca News

    Arizona Bans Ban on Bags

    Arizona has become the first state in the country to prohibit taxes or prohibitions on plastic bags and other containers. Republican Governor Douglas Ducey on April 13 signed legislation forbidding…

Community

Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
www.avtopoliv-gazonov.kiev.ua

www.biceps-ua.com/

Автополив газонов