Is it true that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish?

The amount of plastic in the ocean is expected to double in the next 15 years, and by 2050 there could be more plastic than fish in the sea (by weight). There are giant plastic islands floating on the surface of the ocean, and beaches around the world are increasingly full of plastic trash, even in the Arctic. Some have predicted that 2050 will be a bleak year for the ocean. Experts say that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea, or perhaps there will only be plastic left.

Others say that 90% of our coral reefs could be dead, that waves of mass marine extinction could be unleashed and that our seas could be overheated, acidified and without oxygen. The prediction was made by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the World Economic Forum, in a report called The New Plastics Economy, which analyzes the amount of plastic that ends up in the sea. The recent statement that there will be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050 was intended to highlight a pollution crisis in the oceans. The World Oceans Commission, for example, has called for the adoption of an ambitious and long-term goal of zero plastic waste in the marine environment.

Surprisingly, for such an important figure, this is not detailed in the report, although it implies that there will be a total of 750 million tons of plastic in the ocean by then. He tried to conduct a global census of plastic pollution and estimate the amount that ends up in the ocean. However, it also increases its estimate of the amount of plastic in the ocean in 2050 to between 850 and 950 million tons, approximately 25% more than originally expected. Plastic soup will jeopardize the food supply of millions of people; meanwhile, plastic production is growing due to the low cost of shale gas.

Professor Douglas McCauley from the University of California, Santa Barbara; member of the Friends of Ocean Action; director of the Benioff Ocean Initiative. Today, 60% of plastic waste in the ocean comes from just 5 countries: China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. This includes the two-thirds of the offshore ocean that lie beyond the ocean borders of all the nations and marine regions surrounding Antarctica.

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