More Plastic in Oceans Than Fish?

I was startled when I read this prediction: By 2050, we’ll have more plastic in oceans than fish. Today, by weight we have about 20% plastic in oceans, as compared to fish, which is still a startling statistic. But a new report shows that we may have passed the tipping point. Why–and what can you do? Read on!

The plastic in oceans report, released by the World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, found that we dump eight million tons of plastic in oceans each year–there’s about 165 million tons in it right now.

And that plastic isn’t going anywhere: It can last for hundreds of years, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces that enter the aquatic food chain. But that’s nothing compared to what’s coming: By 2050, we’re set to quadruple our plastic in oceans waste.

Why? Well, for starters, our culture is increasingly dependent on plastic. And we only recycle about 14% of what we use, according to CNN.

What’s the solution? Support initiatives that look for creative ways to solve the plastic pollution problem–like this study that found styrofoam-eating worms excrete waste that could be used as fertilizer or Boyan Slat’s Ocean CleanUp project.

When shopping, look for compostable plastic–typically made from plants–that breaks down faster. For the rest? Recycle, recycle, recycle!

 

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