Until 2050 there will be more plastic in the seas than fish

If everything goes on as until now, one ton of plastic will reach three tons of fish by 2025, which means that by 2050 we will have more plastic than fish in our oceans.

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That's what the latest research has shown

A report by UN environmental experts on plastic pollution, released at the beginning of June on World Environment Day, shows the extent of the plastic problem. The report shows that only 9% of the approximately nine billion tonnes of plastic ever produced was recycled. If the current trend continues, the number will rise to 12 billion tons by 2050, and by 2050 we will have more plastic in the oceans than fish.

To imagine this better, currently a lorry gets plastic waste into the waters per minute. By 2050, that would be four truckloads of plastic per minute.

According to a study by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the World Economic Forum, at least eight million tonnes of plastic enter the seas each year. It is estimated that there is already a 1: 2 ratio between plastic and plankton, a vital food source for many marine creatures.

The main problem is mainly food packaging, plastic bags, cigarette butts, plastic bottles and various lids. These items are most commonly found when cleaning beaches, rivers or seas, so the majority of these are disposable plastics.

Is that really true?

In a recent study conducted by the Environmental Research Center in Leipzig, scientists assume a maximum of six million tons per year, which reach the sea via rivers alone. In addition, there are the quantities that are not entered via rivers. Again, due to the limited amount of data, high uncertainties are assumed.

In addition to the plastic, the amount of fish is very difficult to calculate. It is estimated that around 400 tonnes of commercial fish alone swim in the sea. Add to that the non-commercial fish. For a long time, a total mass of about one billion tons of fish was used. But scientists at the University of Western Australia suspect up to 10 billion tons of fish alone at depths between 200 and 1,000 meters, the so-called mesopelagic zone. That would be much more than the extrapolated plastic waste.

Source: www.nzz.ch, www.euractiv.de
Study: www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.o...

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