Much of the planet is drowning under the weight of plastic waste and plastic pollution in one form or another. And if we want to leave a green and pleasant land for future generations, we need to address this now.
For instance, single-use plastic makes up nearly 40% of all plastics produced annually, and it is only used for a matter of minutes.
However, this same plastic remains in the environment for hundreds of years and will lead to the eventual demise of many animals.
So if we care about life and the planet, we need to make better choices. We need to reduce our plastic dependence every day and choose to live a greener, and more sustainable plastic-free, life.
To help you do that, I have gathered together a collection of famous (and not quite so famous) environmental and plastic-free quotes that will stir the mind and body.
This includes leading figures from the world of zero-waste, plastic-free living, and leading ecologists and marine biologists.
P.S Did you know that there are types of bacteria that can break down plastic?
To find out more, please read my article: Are plastic-eating bacteria solving our plastic pollution problem.
27 Famous Quotes on Plastic Pollution
Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year!
Mother Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu, honored in the Catholic Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta, was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary. She was the recipient of numerous honors, including the 1979 Nobel Prize for Peace.
Anne Marie Bonneau is the founder of The Zero-Waste Chef and has been featured in many sustainability publications. In addition to writing her blog, Anne Marie teaches fermentation and sourdough bread baking classes in Northern California.
Heidi Taylor is an inspirational speaker and a keen environmentalist who values both thought and action in ecology.
Marco Lambertini became Director General of WWF International in April 2014 to drive the global conservation organization’s critical mission to save life on Earth and lead the secretariat team based in Gland, Switzerland.
Since the 1950s, plastic production has grown year on year and now exceeds 350 million tonnes per year. (Source)
Theo James is an English actor, director, producer, and musician. He is known for portraying Tobias “Four” Eaton in The Divergent Series film trilogy.
Dan Buettner is an American National Geographic Fellow and New York Times-bestselling author. He is an explorer, educator, author, producer, storyteller, and public speaker. He co-produced an Emmy Award-winning documentary and holds three Guinness records for endurance cycling.
Robert England is the father of American singer-songwriter, Lana Del Rey. He is known for his work as a domain developer. He began investment in web domains in the late 90s, and as a result, became a self-made entrepreneur. Robert also won the Developer of the Year Award at the domain conference and event T.R.A.F.F.I.C. 2011.
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David Takayoshi Suzuki CC OBC FRSC is a Canadian academic, science broadcaster, and environmental activist. Suzuki earned a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961 and was a professor in the genetics department at the University of British Columbia from 1963 until his retirement in 2001.
Lewis Thomas was an American physician, poet, etymologist, essayist, administrator, educator, policy advisor, and researcher. Thomas was born in Flushing, New York, and attended Princeton University and Harvard Medical School.
In some parts of the world, using plastic is already illegal!
Some countries that have banned, partially banned, or taxed single-use plastic bags include France, Italy, Rwanda, and China.
Anthony T Hincks is an author whose books have been published all over the world. And have appeared in newspapers, newsletters, and a range of other publications.
Sir David Frederick Attenborough, born 8 May 1926, is an English broadcaster and natural historian. He is best known for writing and presenting, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, the nine natural history documentary series forming the Life collection that together constitutes a comprehensive survey of animal and plant life on Earth.
Sir Samuel Alexander Mendes CBE is an English film and stage director, producer, and screenwriter. He is known for his dark re-inventions of the stage musicals Cabaret, Oliver!, Company, and Gypsy in theatre. He directed an original West End stage musical for the first time with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
According to National Geographic, 73% of all beach litter is plastic.
Dame Helen Lydia Mirren, DBE, is an English actor. Excelling on stage with the National Youth Theatre, her performance as Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra in 1965 saw her invited to join the Royal Shakespeare Company before making her West End stage debut in 1975.
Richard Denniss is the Chief Economist and former Executive Director of The Australia Institute. He is a prominent Australian economist, author, public policy commentator, and a former Associate Professor in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.
Peter Seeger was an American folk singer and social activist. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, Seeger also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s.
Frank Zacharias Robin Goldsmith, Baron Goldsmith of Richmond Park PC, is a British politician and journalist who serves as Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment. He was a Parliament member for Richmond Park from 2017 to 2019, previously holding the seat between 2010 and 2016.
Just 10 rivers of the world carry 90% of the plastic polluting our oceans.
Kevin Alexander Leon, known professionally as Kevin de León, is a member of the Democratic Party. He previously served as the 50th President pro tempore of the California State Senate from October 15, 2014, to March 21, 2018
Edmund Gerald Brown Jr. is an American politician who served as the 34th and 39th governor of California from 1975 to 1983 and 2011 to 2019. In 1977, He sponsored the “first-ever tax incentive for rooftop solar,” among many environmental initiatives.
Craig Leeson began his career as a newspaper journalist before moving to television as a news correspondent and anchor. Craig has worked with major global broadcasters, including the BBC, CNN, Bloomberg, PBS, and Australia’s ABC.
Deonie Allen researches atmospheric and terrestrial microplastic occurrence and transportation in the past, the present, and the future. She is also a co-organizer of the United Nations (GESAMP) workshop investigating airborne plastics that enter and leave the oceans.
António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres GCC GCL is a Portuguese politician and diplomat serving as the United Nations’ ninth secretary-general. A member of the Portuguese Socialist Party, he served as prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002.
“The choices we make today have an impact on human rights, equality, prosperity & the health of our planet. It is time for all countries to redesign their paths to progress – fully accounting for the dangerous pressures humans put on the planet.”
An estimated 20% of all plastic waste in the oceans comes from marine sources. In some regions, marine sources dominate. More than half of the plastics in the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ (52%) come from fishing nets, ropes, and lines.
Furthermore, according to the United Nations, plastic ingestion kills an estimated 1 million marine birds and 100,000 marine animals each year.
Craig Leeson is an award-winning journalist, filmmaker, television presenter, and public speaker. He is the founder of Leeson Media International and Ocean Vista Films and Chairman of the I Shot Hong Kong Film Festival.
Frances G. Beinecke is an environmental activist and politician. She served as the former president of the Natural Resources Defense Council from 2006 to 2015.
DR. P.S.JAGADEESH KUMAR is an Indian American Scientist, Researcher, Philosopher, Engineer, Professor, Administrator, Academician, Social and Educational Reformer, Editor, Multi-language Writer, Author, Novelist, and Poet.
Jacques-Yves Cousteau, AC, was a French naval officer, explorer, conservationist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author, and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water. He co-developed the Aqua-Lung, pioneered marine conservation, and was a member of the Académie française.
The average person eats 70,000 microplastics each year.
Half a million tons of plastic microfibers are dumped into the ocean every year, equivalent to 50 billion plastic bottles.
There may now be around 5.2 trillion pieces floating in the open ocean. Weighing up to 269,000 tonnes.
(Microfibers cannot be extracted from the water, and they are spreading throughout the food chain).
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If you enjoyed these quotes, please check out these related articles regarding sustainability, environmental waste, and plastic pollution:
101 Amazing, inspiring, and thought-provoking quotes on sustainability.
37 Thought-provoking environmental quotes that inspire change.
Are plastic-eating bacteria solving our plastic pollution problem?
27 Famous plastic-free waste and pollution quotes.
Famous Quotes On Environmental And Plastic Pollution (No Pictures)
1. “It’s only one straw.” Said 8 billion people.” – Unknown
2. “If we have any hope of finding ways for seven billion people to live well on a planet with finite resources, we have to learn to use our resources efficiently. Plastic bags are neither efficient nor environmentally friendly.” – David Suzuki
3. “To me, I think that people who don’t think it’s a big deal to toss a plastic bottle in the garbage are not only being irresponsible, but I think they’re being disrespectful of all the other human beings on earth.” – Sophia Bush
4. “I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things that we could use.” – Mother Teresa
5. “We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” – Annie Marie Bonneau
6. “We make so many things that don’t require the longevity that plastic has. We don’t need a straw that we will use to sip one drink that will stay in the environment forever.” – Heidi Taylor
7. “Not only are plastics polluting our oceans and waterways and killing marine life – It’s in all of us, and we can’t escape consuming plastics.” – Marco Lambertini
8. “My obsession is plastic packaging. It makes me sick, all the waste. Everything about it disappoints me.” – Theo James
9. “The longest-lived people eat a plant-based diet. They eat meat but only as a condiment or as a celebration. Nothing they eat has a plastic wrapper.” – Dan Buettner
10. “We humans have become dependant on plastic for a variety of uses, from packaging to products. Reducing our use of plastic bags is an easy place to start getting our addiction under control.” – David Suzuki
11. “I’m scared by the enormous amount of bottled water being consumed today, instead of people drinking filtered tap water. Did you know that nearly 90 percent of those plastic bottles are not recycled and wind up in landfills where it takes thousands of years for the plastic to decompose.” – Robert England
12. “The cloning of humans is on most of the lists of things to worry about from science, along with behavior control, genetic engineering, transplanted heads, computer poetry and the unrestrained growth of plastic flowers.” – Lewis Thomas
13. “Plastic will be the main ingredient of all our grandchildren’s recipes.” – Anthony T. Hincks
14. “Industrial pollution and the discarding of plastic waste must be tackled for the sake of all life in the ocean.” – David Attenborough
15. “In 2014, scientists even found a new kind of stone in Hawaii, made of sand, shells, coral, volcanic rock and plastic.” – David Suzuki
16. “It took me a long time to film the plastic bag, and then I had to get the cutscene right. But if you find it as beautiful as the character does, then suddenly it becomes a different movie, and so did the character.” – Sam Mendes
17. “If we want to move towards a low-polluting sustainable society, we need to get consumers to think about their purchases.” – David Suzuki
18. “I’ll tell you what scares me is plastic. Plastic bags and plastic bottles and these things. Why does my water have to be in a bloody plastic bottle? The landfill and the ocean. And I don’t know, I’m just terrified with the proliferation of plastic.” – Helen Mirren
19. “I don’t want to protect the environment, I want to create a world where the environment doesn’t need protection.” – Bibhab Pradhan
20. “If it can’t be reduced, reused, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from production.” – Pete Seeger
21. “Thousands of sea turtles, whales, and countless other species mistake the bags for food, and once ingested the bags block the animal’s insides and cause a horrible death.” – Zac Goldsmith
22. “Banning plastic bags so that people use paper bags or imported reusable bags that will end up in landfills soon thereafter is not the only solution to our plastic bag challenge.” – Kevin de Leon
23. “Plastics in all its forms – Straws, bottles, packaging, bags, etc – Are all choking our planet… We must find ways to reduce and eventually eliminate single-use plastic products.” – Governor Jerry Brown
24. “The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.” – Gaylord Nelson
25. “Of all the waste we generate, plastic bags are perhaps the greatest symbol of our throwaway society. They are used, then forgotten, and they leave a terrible legacy.” – Zac Goldsmith
26. “Plastic waste is now found in the most remote areas of the planet. It kills marine life and is doing major harm to communities that depend on fishing and tourism.” – Antonio Guterres
27. “Pollution from oil and gas development, toxic runoff and miles and miles of plastic trash foul the waters and threaten marine life.” – Frances Beinecke
28. “Plastic disposal not only pollutes the land but the water and air, the three primary elements for any living being on the earth.” – Sir P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar
29. “Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends have become global garbage cans.” – Jacques Cousteau
Quotes are intended to intrigue the mind and provide a thought-provoking experience for the recipient.
I hope that the quotes listed here have fulfilled that brief and that some have provided lots of brain nourishment on the subject of plastic pollution.