Much has been written about the effects of plastic on the marine environment, from the Texas-sized Great Pacific garbage patch, to bottles expelled from cruise ships washed up on the beach, to “ghost” nets and weirs abandoned by factory-sized trawlers, and more. A new report on marine plastics was presented at the World Economic Forum earlier this year. It highlights the gravity of plastic pollution—“in 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea”—and notes that plastic packaging is the primary culprit. CNN proclaimed: “The world is flooded with plastic garbage.” The study finds that 95 percent of plastic packaging material is lost to the economy after a short single-use cycle, at a cost of $80-120 billion. The sizeable portion of this plastic that ends up in our environment takes an even greater toll, financially and on the health of the planet.
Photo: Kyle Sparks