We know that the oceans are warming and becoming increasingly acidic as we continue to pump more and more CO2 into the atmosphere. But they also face another threat from mankind: plastic. Our modern lives are dominated by this ubiquitous material, from the packaging on the food we eat to the technology we use every day, there is no getting away from it. Our oceans are no exception, and if current trends continue, a new report has revealed that by 2050, plastic rubbish in the ocean will outweigh fish.
According to the new report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, an astonishing 95 percent of plastic packaging is lost to the economy every year after single use, costing an estimated $80-120 billion (£56-84 billion). While only a paltry 5 percent is recycled effectively, around 40 percent is buried in landfill, and a third of all plastic produced each year finds its way into the world’s oceans. This is equivalent to dumping the contents of one garbage truck a minute into the marine environment.