We’re producing plastic and throwing it away faster than fish can reproduce. Our plastic production continues to grow. Bans on plastic bags help. Recycling helps, but we’re only recycling 5%. Another 40% goes to landfills. About 33% goes into nature, including the oceans. (The remainder is burned.) If plastic production quadruples by 2050 as expected, and nothing changes in terms of reduce, recycle, or reuse; then the amount of plastic in the ocean will outweigh the fish. As plastic becomes more prevalent in the ocean, whales, fish, and birds are increasingly eating it. Plastic bags look like jellyfish. Old lighters look like shrimp. Whales and birds are already eating enough to dramatically reduce populations. Fish consuming plastic, or consuming fish that have eaten plastic, are being eaten by us. The good news is that those changes in reduce, reuse, and recycle are relatively easy to enact, or at least easier to enact than increasing fish populations.
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