The amount of plastic materials consumed by the world every year has increased from around five million tonnes in the 1950s to nearly 100 million tonnes today.
There are some 50 groups of plastics, with hundreds of different varieties.
All types of plastic are recyclable.
One tonne of plastics is equivalent to 120,000 carrier bags.
The amount of plastic waste generated annually in the UK is estimated to be nearly three million tonnes.
An estimated 56 per cent of all plastics waste is packaging.