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Oceans Will Have More Plastics Than Fish By 2050, Study Says

Photo: Getty Images.
A depressing new report is predicting that by 2050, the Earth's oceans will contain more plastics than fish.

The World Economic Forum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation found that in the past 50 years, the world's use of plastics has increased more than 20-fold, as CNN reports. And since 32% of all plastic packaging "escapes collection systems," our reliance on the material creates a huge strain on the environment, the report explains. According to the WEF, just 14% of plastic packaging gets collected for recycling.

There are currently more than 165 million tons of plastic in the world's oceans, The Huffington Post notes in its coverage of the findings. By 2025, the WEF predicts that the oceans will contain 1.1 ton of plastic for every 3.3 tons of fish. Plastic will surpass fish by weight in 2050. About 8 million metric tons of plastic leak into the Earth's oceans every year, notes The Washington Post.
Photo: Getty Images.
It's not all bad news, though — the report also includes suggestions about how companies, as well as lawmakers and waste management services, can work to eliminate plastic waste.

"This report demonstrates the importance of triggering a revolution in the plastics industrial ecosystem," Dominic Waughray, head of public-private partnership at the World Economic Forum, said in a statement. Waughray encouraged cooperation between the public and private sectors to reduce plastic waste.