Courtesy of 5 Gyres, Los Angeles, California.

Open water swimmers often campaign against the rising amount of plastics in the world’s oceans.

But what exactly comprises of these plastics?

Marcus Eriksen, co-founder of 5 Gyres, tells us with his latest Plastics Better Alternatives Now (BAN) List 2.0 that ranks the most polluting plastic products in terms of how much is out there, how likely it is to be recovered, and how toxic it is.

In 2017, 5 Gyres released B.A.N. 1.0 that focused only on California. B.A.N. 2.0 covers the entire United States where plastic food wrappers, bottle caps, beverage bottles, bags, and straws wash up and pollute the East Coast, West Coast and Gulf Coast.

Eriksen writes, “We looked at brands too and included a study on biodegradable plastics that may surprise you.

Next year, we’ll be releasing BAN List 3.0 with data from our partners across Southeast Asia, as part of the Asia Pacific Action Against Plastic Pollution. BAN List 3.0 will not only include a list of the most polluting plastic products, but a road map to achievable solutions reversing the rising accumulation of plastic in our oceans.”

5 Gyres utilizes Litterati, a mobile app that allows users to document corporate logos or names on polluting plastics.

Top 20 Polluting Products, Packaging, Brands
1. Food Wrappers including candy, chips, etc.: Wrigley’s, Trident, Starburst, Snickers
2. Plastic Bottle Caps: Coke, Gatorade, Naked, Snapple, Crystal Geyser
3. Plastic Beverage Bottles: Poland Springs, Gatorade, Coke, Crystal Geyser, Arrowhead
4. Plastic Bags: Starbucks, McDonald’s, Taco Bell
5. Straws, Stirrers: Starbucks, McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, Burger King, Subway
6. Plastic Lids
7. Utensils
8. Cigarette Butts: Marlboro, Camel, Parliament, Newport, Pall Mall
9. Take Out/Away Foam Containers
10. Take Out/Away Plastic Containers
11. Plastic Cups & Plates: Starbucks, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Dunkin Donuts, Peets
12. Cigar Tips
13. Foam Cups & Plates
14. Tobacco Packaging/Wrap: Swisher Sweets, Dutch, Backwoods
15. Balloons
16. Other Plastic Bottles
17. Cigarette Lighters
18. Personal Care Products including condoms & tampon applicators: Trojan, Lifestyles, Pleasure Plus
19. 6-Pack Holders
20. Diapers

For more information from 5 Gyres, visit here.

For information about 5 Gyres, visit

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