Plastic garbage will weigh more than the sum of fish in our oceans by 2050


Click to enlarge — Erik de Castro/Reuters

The study, which drew on multiple sources, proposed setting up a new system to slash the leaking of plastics into nature, especially the oceans, and to find alternatives to crude oil and natural gas as the raw material of plastic production.

At least 8 million tons of plastics find their way into the ocean every year — equal to one garbage truckload every minute, said the report, which included analysis by the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment…

Available research estimates that there are more than 150 million tons of plastics in the ocean today…

A sweeping change in the use of plastic packaging would require cooperation worldwide among consumer goods companies, plastic packaging producers, businesses involved in collection, cities, policymakers and other organizations, said the report. It proposed creating an independent coordinating body for the initiative.

“Plastics are the workhorse material of the modern economy, with unbeaten properties. However, they are also the ultimate single-use material,” said Martin Stuchtey of the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment. “Growing volumes of end-of-use plastics are generating costs and destroying value to the industry.”

Reusable plastics could become a valuable commodity in a “circular economy” that relied on recycling, Stuchtey said. “Our research confirms that applying those circular principles could spark a major wave of innovation, with benefits for the entire supply chain.”

It can be done. The hard part is the politics. Producers never want to change anything that might diminish profits. Politicians never want to change anything without permission from producers profiting from the status quo.

Somewhere in the middle of the process – political cooperation and change needs to happen. If cooperation doesn’t work. Than I suggest intimidation. Nothing wrong with throwing the creeps we’ve elected out of a job. Nothing wrong with boycotting sleazy profiteers.

6 thoughts on “Plastic garbage will weigh more than the sum of fish in our oceans by 2050

  1. OMG says:

    Plastic waste could find its way deep into the ocean through the faeces of plankton, new research from the University of Exeter and Plymouth Marine Laboratory shows. The study is further evidence of the widespread impact plastic pollution could have on the marine environment. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-02/uoe-pfc022916.php Researchers have found tiny marine creatures called zooplankton readily ingest “microplastics”, plastic debris smaller than one mm in size. This plastic is later egested within their faecal pellets.
    In the marine environment, faecal pellets help transport carbon and nutrients into deeper waters, helping the ocean store carbon and providing food for animals living within the water column.
    This new study showed plankton that ate polystyrene microplastics produced faeces that were lighter than normal and therefore sank more slowly. Because these pellets sink slower there will be greater opportunity for them to be eaten by animals.
    This is the first evidence that plastic polluting the ocean alters the structure, density and sinking rates of animals’ faecal pellets.

  2. Allakariallak says:

    “Microplastics: A global disaster in the Arctic Ocean” http://www.iucn.org/?22419 “Though many consider the Arctic as one of the last pristine environments on Earth, the Arctic Ocean is already affected by the trillions of pieces of plastic floating in our world’s oceans today. There is evidence suggesting that a sixth plastic gyre has formed within the area of the Barents Sea (Van Sebille et al 2012). If this is true, we could assume that microplastics accumulate in the region because of converging ocean currents, as is the case in the five other major ocean basin plastic gyres.
    A recent study revealed that the Arctic is already a sink for microplastics transported from distant sources. Indeed, the Arctic Sea ice has been recently shown to contain a concentration of microplastics (mostly textile fibres) which far exceeds the ones previously reported in highly contaminated oceanic waters (plastic gyres) (Obbard et al. 2014). As the sea ice thaws, these particles are released into the water and might enter the food chain.
    This discovery presents a serious human health concern, as approximately 40% of the United States’ commercial fisheries (by weight) come from the Bering Sea and about 50% of the fish consumed in the European Union comes from the European Arctic (Weildemann 2014). The problem is not limited to the Arctic: it affects us all.”

  3. Mr. McGuire says:

    Plastic below the ocean surface : Current measurement methods may be vastly underestimating the amount of plastic in the oceans. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-04/uod-lbt042116.php “A 2015 paper published in Science estimates that anywhere from 4.8 million to 12.7 million metric tons of plastic were dumped into the ocean in 2010 alone. One metric ton equals approximately 2,200 pounds, roughly the weight of a Mazda Miata.
    As we celebrate Earth Day on Friday, April 22, new research by University of Delaware physical oceanographer Tobias Kukulka provides evidence that the amount of plastic in the marine environment may be greater that previously thought.
    …”My research has shown that ocean turbulence actually mixes plastics and other pollutants down into the water column despite their buoyancy,” Kukulka said. “This means that surface measurements could be wildly off and the concentration of plastic in the marine environment may be significantly higher than we thought.”
    See also “Evidence for the Influence of Surface Heat Fluxes on Turbulent Mixing of Microplastic Marine Debris”, March issue of the Journal of Physical Oceanography, a publication of the American Meteorological Society. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JPO-D-15-0242.1

  4. Woozy says:

    “The pristine Arctic has become a garbage trap for 300 billion pieces of plastic” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/04/19/humans-have-filled-the-pristine-arctic-ocean-with-300-billion-pieces-of-floating-plastic/
    See also “The Arctic Ocean as a dead end for floating plastics in the North Atlantic branch of the Thermohaline Circulation” http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/4/e1600582 and “Humans are putting 8 million metric tons of plastic in the oceans — annually” (2/12/15) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/02/12/humans-are-putting-8-million-metric-tons-of-plastic-in-the-oceans-annually/

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