A new study has reported that given how much plastic we humans have produced and discarded, we are set to bury our planet with plastics in the coming years!
The first global analysis of the production of plastics, which was published in the Science Advances journal, reports that humans have created 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic since the 1950’s. From this, 9% are recycled while 12% are incinerated, and 79% (which is the majority), gets buried in landfills, and oftentimes even makes its way it into seas and oceans.
Researchers of the study also analyzed the production of all plastics, and found that its production has increased from 2 million tonnes per year in 1950, to a whopping 400 million tonnes in 2015!
According to a co-author of the study, Jenna Jambeck, “Most plastics don’t biodegrade in any meaningful sense, so the plastic waste humans have generated could be with us for hundreds or even thousands of years.”
She adds that, “Our estimates underscore the need to think critically about the materials we use and our waste management practices.”
Although the height of plastic production began back in the 1950’s, the researchers found that a rapid increase in its manufacturing occurred in the last 13 years. There is even enough plastic on Earth to completely cover a country the size of Argentina!
And in relation to this, another recent study has also reported that plastics have been found in the deep oceans, as well as the waters of the polar regions, and that by the year 2050, plastics in the oceans could potentially outweigh the resident fishes.