How Does Trash End Up in the Ocean?

How Trash Gets Into the Ocean

As long as people litter and improperly dispose of garbage, waste will continue spreading across our waterways and impacting the environment. The impact of one person’s trash can be hard to visualize, but when you look at the big picture, the result is overwhelming.

Plastic products are among the most commonly found trash in the oceans. Here are a few trash facts that show the effect of our plastic waste every year:

  • Each year, more than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans.
  • Plastic Oceans International reports that over 90% of all seabirds have ingested plastic.
  • More than 100,000 marine mammals and over 1 million sea birds die each year after being entangled in plastic waste, according to Connect4Climate.

But how exactly does a single piece of garbage make its way from your trash can to the ocean? We’ve outlined the journey your waste takes.

Infographic Showing How Trash Gets Into the Ocean

Want to learn more about where trash goes? We've got a guide for that!