In the next 30 years polluting plastic particles may overwhelm the oceans
Scientists around the world have been addressing the plastic issue that is taking over our planet for a while now. In a 2017 study, plastic production around the world has been shown to have an annual growth rate, throughout the past 70 years, of about 9 percent, which puts the amount of plastic now roaming in oceans and landfills at roughly 9 billion tonnes. A good point of comparison is to look at the amount of plastic available in 1950, which was only 900 tonnes (1 kilogram equals 0.001 of a tone), comparing to the 2015 number, which stands at 400 billion kilograms. This shows that half of this plastic was produced only in that last fifteen years.
At the moment, the urgency to take action is building, as scientists warn of the environmental damage humans are inflecting on the planet and its wildlife, but little action is taken and waste management of this scale is more of a fictional story rather than well planned reality. The problem, scientists warn, is that not even recycling is the answer, because it is simply not enough and not a problem solveing solution. The fact is that other strategies, such as waste to energy and other forms of technologies have to be considered in plastic management. Although, replacement of various forms of plastic entities would be the best way to go, the world keeps acting as if substitutes do not exist and plastic remains the only solution.
If humans do not move fast to decrease production of plastics, 11 billion tonnes of waste will end up in landfills in the next 30 years and polluting plastic particles may overwhelm the oceans. According to various studies, the weight of plastic in the oceans is going to surpass the weight of fish that roams those oceans. At the moment, scientists are exploring a few different options for controlling plastic wastes. For example, researchers are working on plastic eating bacteria and green companies have thus far been able to design floating barriers in the shape of a V, which are being designed and tested to work by using the current energy of the oceans to their advantage. Other techniques include the reversal of plastic production altogether, but with a million bottles a minute being produced around the world, this cultural trend shows no sign of slowing down, leave alone reversal. Overall, consumption of various forms of plastic is a global trend that is more of a culture phenomenon and the most consuming regions are, in fact, western. A 2014 statistics report shows that United States and Europe are by far the biggest consumers of plastic materials, with Japan, china, Mexico, and Brazil following close behind. Surprisingly, the report shows India as by far the least consuming nation amongst the top 7 countries that are currently carrying the worst global records.
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