Umbrellas like everything else have a footprint, which per umbrella might not be huge, but when you look at the real numbers involved, their impact can be mind-boggling!
Umbrellas are made of a mix of materials; plastics (the handle, the runner, end cap), metals (the stem, ribs, and stretchers) and nylon (the canopy).
As they are very difficult to take apart, they’re rarely recycled and most often end up in landfills.
The plastics can take over 1000 years to decompose and when they do break down into microplastics they enter the waterways, into marine life and the food system.
Part of the problem with umbrellas is that they can be cheaply made, shipped in from far away and break after a few uses, meaning a much bigger footprint.
When you factor in the stats that over 1 billion umbrellas are discarded and end up in landfill each year you can see how huge their impact can be.
If you take the average umbrella to weigh 500g that means that around 500,000 tonnes of umbrella waste end up in landfill every year!
But it doesn’t have to be that way!